To listen to an artist like Caiti Baker, it is impossible not to get swept up in a voice that is so seasoned and yet, so contemporary and fresh. Since 2016, the Australian music scene has been enamoured with her rich sonic direction and powerful, soulful presence. Caiti’s musical journey began at home, as many do, with early exposure to blues, soul, rock ‘n roll, gospel, and jazz, music infiltrating her sphere of influence, largely thanks to her blues musician father. And from there, a love of R&B and hip hop developed – a child of the ‘90s meant that Caiti’s formative years were dictated by some of the greats: Aaliyah. Erykah. TLC. Throughout her early career, Caiti was able to explore unique and intricate sonic influences, while remaining true to her musical roots and strengths.
First, with R&B/soul outfit Sietta – Caiti’s first official project with Darwin musician and producer, James Mangohig aka Kuya James. The project opened up doors for Caiti and soon enough came industry praise and multiple shows around Australia and internationally. As a solo performer, Caiti’s wings properly spread – since 2015 she has been wooing Australian audiences with her intensely personal brand of songwriting and nuanced delivery. Her debut solo album, Zinc, dropped in 2017 to widespread praise from outlets including Rolling Stone Australia and The Weekend Australian, while also being featured on Double J. The album served as an introduction to new facets of Caiti’s creativity; but it certainly wasn’t a record that would pigeon hole the artist. The AIR Award winning 2019 EP Dust (Part 1) proved to be a defining moment for Caiti as a songwriter and performer. Renewed confidence and a sense of empowerment that was threaded beautifully throughout the material marked the direction Caiti knew she needed to head down from this point forward.
As the world was forced to stop and take stock of itself in 2020, Caiti produced her most personal effort to date, a love letter to her home of the Northern Territory in Mary Of The North. Flourishing within a soundscape marked by striking production and vivid imagery, the record showed Caiti at a particular songwriting and creative peak. Like any sense of self and sense of identity, it’s natural to embrace different chapters and periods of change. This is Caiti’s prerogative moving into 2021. The Caiti that fans and newcomers are about to meet is a Caiti that has never been more comfortable and confident in her own skin.
DOBBY is a rapper, composer, producer and drummer. He proudly identifies as a Filipino and Aboriginal musician, whose family is from Murrawarri and Ngemba lands (Weilmoringle, Brewarrina NSW).
He has performed extensively locally including PARRTJIMA Festival (NT), BIGSOUND (QLD), OzAsia Festival (SA) and Sydney Opera House, and internationally in Germany, UK, USA and Netherlands, as well as, recently performed alongside sister BARKAA for the 2021-22 New Year’s Eve Fireworks.
Recently, he composed all the soundscapes for PARRTJIMA 2021 & 2022 (Alice Springs, NT), and composed the music behind Australia’s first 500-strong drones show (Elevate Sydney).
June 2022 DOBBY will premiere WARRANGU; River Story, in partnership with Vivid Sydney, a body of work created from his awarded Peter Sculthorpe Fellowship.
In 2020, DOBBY took out best video for ‘I CAN’T BREATHE’ at the FBi SMAC Awards. I Can’t Breathe has continued to remain the unofficial anthem of Australia’s Bla(c)k Lives Matter movement and used throughout schools in Australia as material alongside curriculum to assist in educating students.
As part of DOBBY’s (pre-covid) tour, he was labelled as the 2018 “BIGSOUND buzz act” with his live show being described as “mind blowing”, “dynamic” & “powerful”. As the tour continued internationally, DOBBY was listed by media reviews as one of the top 10 buzz acts to come out of both 2019 The Great Escape, UK, and Reeperbahn Festival in Germany, from a lineup of over 450+ artists!
DOBBY is a multi-instrumentalist who’s is increasingly being known for bouncing between piano, drums, & drum pads, with his unique signature ‘drapping’ (rapping & drumming at the same time).
He has completed a BMus at UNSW, and an Indigenous Studies Honours (focusing on Aboriginal Hip Hop music) in 2015 and while he continues to make music and tour the world, he currently holds a 3 year position as the Indigenous Convenor at the ANU School of Music (ACT).
Formed in 1996 for a school talent competition, Downsyde kicked open the doors for West Australian hip hop artists as well as being early pioneers on the national scene. Since then, they’ve released four acclaimed albums, won a stack of awards and toured Australia and the world numerous times including South and Central America with indigenous elder and singer Richard Walley. They’ve even been to Mumbai and Germany, building up a legion of fans across the globe.
They’ve toured with and supported the likes of The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest, Jurassic 5, Cypress Hill, The Black Eyed Peas and Public Enemy with the latter’s Chuck D a fan of the band. They were also one of the artists featured in 2007 Australian Hip Hop documentary Words From The City.
After the release of 2009’s “All City”, the group took some time off, with members busy on numerous projects. Dazastah has produced for and tours with Drapht and produced for A.B. Original. Optamus released a solo album as well as run hip hop workshops everywhere from regional indigenous communities to prisons and schools and was nominated for a golden WAMi (West Australian Music Award for services to the industry) in 2017.
After eight years in between drinks, the WA hip hop institution returned with the release of their fifth album ClassicILL at the end of 2017. Featuring the singles “Only Got Now”, “Richman” and “Back In The Game”, ClassicILL is classic Downsyde with elements of boom bap, disco and funk. On the album’s ten minute centrepiece “Life Is Music”, Downsyde MCs Optamus, Dazastah and Shabaz are joined by their Syllabolix crew including Layla, Drapht and the late Hunter. The album was launched at The Rosemount Hotel in Perth with another launch at Acacea Prison, followed by national dates and festival appearances.
At the start of 2018 the band announced the addition of WA MC Beni Bjah to the group while original member Shabaz takes a break to focus on family. In 2016 Beni became the first indigenous songwriter to win the WAM (WA Music Association) song of the year award for his track “Survivor”. In April 2019 the band dropped their new single “Odds”, the first record featuring Beni who takes the first blistering verse. The band will be releasing a series of special 12” singles and hitting the road in 2021, stay tuned…
Fatai is a Melbourne, Australia-based singer of Tongan descent. She rose to fame soon after being a semi-finalist on the first season of the Australian version of The Voice. Following her success on The Voice, she inked a deal with Mercury Records Australia.
In mid-2015, following two and a half years on the Mercury label, Fatai decided to become an independent artist. Her debut single as an independent artist, “Purple”, was released on 16 August 2015, soon followed by her live debut EP, “Undone”, on 20 November 2015.
Fatai’s incredible viral online presence has won her a substantial international audience–her relentless touring since has solidified her as an international sensation.
Fatai has traveled the world over the past four years on tour, selling out shows across North America, The United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Described as having a vocal style that lies “somewhere between Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera and Alicia Keys,” Ppcorn.com declares that her “every note is infused with a delicacy and strength that beautifully contradicts itself.”
The uniquely powerful relationship Fatai has built with her fans online has forged the successes of her multiple headlining tours of the past four years, establishing a bond with that audience that is set to last for years to come.
Nyoongar hip hop artist, Flewnt, has performed at numerous rallies and festivals and is heavily involved in his community. His anthemic celebration of Nyoogar culture, Kya Kyana, put Flewnt on the musical map, garnering the runner up prize for WAM Song of the Year in 2018.
Harts is the nom de plume of Indian-born, Australian-based musician, singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and music producer Darren Hart.
Over his career Harts has cemented himself as one of Australia’s leading music talents, building an impressive resume of critically acclaimed work as both a solo artist and a sideman – working alongside iconic artists such as Prince, Lenny Kravitz, Questlove, Denzel Curry, Joey Badass, as well as Australian legends like John Foreman, Delta Goodrem, Marcia Hines, Peking Duk and more.
In recent years, Harts was chosen to headline the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup Opening Ceremony, in which he had been hand-picked to record and produce the official campaign theme song. In 2021, he performed live on Channel 10’s NYE Gala, as well as at the MCG for the Big Bash League Cricket, while finishing off the year with a Christmas TV performance with Delta Goodrem on Channel 9.
With 3 full length albums, 2 EPs, and a multitude of festival and TV appearances both locally and internationally, Harts has worked hard to achieve what few do, all the while inspiring a new generation of multi-instrumentalists, guitarists and bedroom-producers.
‘This Way I’m Seeing’ is the new single from Harts and is the first taste of more new music to come in the near future.
imbi is a multidisciplinary artist currently residing on Gadigal Land. Their practice spans across mediums, from song to digital collage to performance art to poetry. Regardless of what form his art takes, imbi always creates with intention and emphasis on divine connection. Each piece they create is a ritual, bewitching audiences is second nature to them and facilitating tangible energetic moments is a practice found deep in his blood.
Having performed for audiences across so-called ‘australia’ and Aotearoa (N.Z.) imbi has left many strong impressions, continuing to expand their practice of performance and push the limits of crowd engagement/intimacy every time he sings.
Jackie Brown Jr
Jackie Brown Jr are an indie rock and soul Western Sydney five piece consisting of lead singer and saxophonist Madeleine Mallis, drummer and MC Rhyan Clapham (aka Dobby), guitarist and keyboard player Michael J Brady, bassist Gideon Traurig, and guitarist Hilary Geddes.
Founded in 2014, the band has been combining upbeat soul infused horns and vocals, with elements of hip hop, infectious gang vocals, and an unabashed rock energy. They have been getting audiences up and dancing with their infectious live shows along the East Coast with 2021 seeing them release their sophomore EP.
They make indie rock to dissolve your existential dread, or to make it worse? Who knows.
“This one’s the most straight up and undeniable track that I’ve heard from JBJ yet.” – Dave Ruby Howe, Triple J
Nasty Mars is a unique singer and songwriter from Melbourne, Australia. Brought up on a wide variety of musical styles, with a particular interest in Soul, RnB and Reggae. In 2016, Nasty Mars met his current band-mates and collaborators The Martians, performing together in a series of must-see shows across Melbourne.
At the age of 19 he was trying as much as possible to tap his inspiration into Soul, RnB, poetry and contemporary art to create his own sounds.
Furthermore, he enriched his music in 2016, when he started to collaborate with his colleague The Martians, giving birth to the band that is known now. Their first musical work didn’t take long to come and in 2017, they launched “Soul Island”, their debut single, but they began to leave a decisive mark on the Melbourne music scene only with the single “Chanel”.
Frizzy guitars and relaxing piano tabs are the main ingredients of the band, who are able to reach a dreamy atmosphere beaten by the soul vibes of a saxophone that sings alone in the refrain. The rhythmic drums articulate this irresistible flow of instruments, while Nasty Mars’ voice sings softly, gradually becoming part of the mixed instruments.
It is not common to meet this innovative versatility from such a young group of artists, it seems like they are rewriting the rules of R&B and Blues. Their moody sounds speak with the soothing vocals experimenting a new musical reality that will definitely expand the musical panorama.
Tessa Thames’ Dad ran a karaoke business in the 90’s where she operated as a ‘warm up’ of sorts, taking the mic first with the hopes of encouraging others to follow suit. It was a delicate balancing act: being good enough to entertain whilst trying not to intimidate punters.
Through this, First Nations artist Tessa cultivated her love of music and songwriting, absorbing her dearly held ‘Top Of The Pops’ 90’s nostalgia like a sponge. Now she’s squeezing it all out as something of her own.
Some may recognise her as the voice of folk act Microwave Jenny, having toured Australia, NZ, Asia, the UK and playing festivals such as Bluesfest (Byron Bay), Woodford Folk Festival (Woodford), Friendship Festival (Seoul) & The Aussie BBQ (UK).
Her music has been featured on television series Gods of Wheat Street (ABC1), Redfern Now (SBS), Offspring (Network 10), Winners & Losers (Seven Network) & Underbelly Chopper (The Nine Network).
Now Tessa Thames, based on the NSW Central Coast (Ettalong Beach), unleashes her modern 90’s nostalgic pop on the world without any concern for who might be intimidated.
For two decades, William Barton (currently based in Sydney, NSW) has forged a peerless profile as a performer and composer in the classical music world, from the Philharmonic Orchestras of London and Berlin to historic events at Westminster Abbey for Commonwealth Day 2019, Anzac Cove and the Beijing Olympics. His awards include Winner of Best Original Score for a Mainstage Production at the 2018 Sydney Theatre Awards and Winner of Best Classical Album with ARIA for Birdsong At Dusk in 2012. With his prodigious musicality and the quiet conviction of his Kalkadunga heritage, he has vastly expanded the horizons of the didgeridoo — and the culture and landscape that it represents.
“I grew up on a cattle station just outside Mt Isa in northwest Queensland. I started learning the didgeridoo from about the age of seven from my uncle, Arthur Peterson. He was an elder of the Wannyi, Lardil and Kalkadunga people.”
His mother — singer, songwriter and poet Delmae Barton — remembers him dancing to Elvis Presley when he could barely stand. He recalls Beethoven and Vivaldi streaming from ABC Classic FM radio, and AC/DC in his cassette player. Through it all, the hypnotic whoop and drone of the didgeridoo wove a common thread in his imagination.
By age 12, William was sure enough of his destiny to leave school to concentrate on music.
At 17, William realised a lifelong dream when he was invited to perform with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. But the full, rapturous embrace of the classical music world came in 2004, when Tasmanian composer Peter Sculthorpe unveiled his Requiem with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and guest soloist, William Barton.
That night, William was invited to join the orchestra in Japan, to perform Sculthorpe compositions Earth Cry and Mangrove. Tours to the USA and New Zealand followed, and the composer and didgeridoo artist cemented a firm creative partnership. “William offered me a new direction,” the late composer has said, praising his instinctive musicality and skill as an improviser.
Today he holds honorary doctorate degrees from the Universities of Griffith and Sydney, has had released five albums on the ABC Classics label and is an Artist in Residence at Melbourne Recital Centre. His most recent album, Kalkadungu: music for didjeridu and orchestra, features predominantly his own compositions, alongside those of Delmae and Peter Sculthorpe.
An enigmatic and captivating performer, Yirrmal’s storytelling transcends time and space.
An extraordinarily passionate and incredibly gifted singer-songwriter, Yirrmal creates accessible, powerful and authentic new music of passion and truth, helping people to feel good, and to feel good about themselves.
Hailing from the Rirratjingu clan group in the remote North East Arnhem Land community of Yirrkala, his works share his joy of creating, re-telling and performing stories as old as time with a fresh, inspired and contemporary reflection.
Yirrmal’s music expresses a powerfully instinctual and intuitive pledge that echoes and embraces buoyant courage and empathy, and he has plenty to say, sharpening his craft over the years from mentors such as Archie Roach, Shane Howard, Yothu Yindi, Neil Murray, and Andrew Farriss.
Yirrmal has had great success within Triple J, his feature on Baker Boy’s 2017 track “Marryuna” ranked number 17 in the Hottest 100 of 2017, also winning Best Song at the Music Victoria Awards of 2018 and Best Film Clip of the Year at the National Indigenous Music Awards in 2018. Yirrmal’s second featured collaboration with Baker Boy’s “Ride” also featured in the Hottest 200 of 2021, with his third feature “Somewhere Deep” featuring on Baker Boy’s 2021 debut album “Gela”.
Secure and comfortable in his own identity and belief, Yirrmal charts his own journey. ‘I want people to forget about their troubles for a while, to live in the moment and just enjoy this music.’
Yirrmals self-titled debut album is magnetic, a collection of works that is bold, celebratory and timeless, capturing thoughts and feelings of what it means to be alive in a beautiful and ancient landscape.
The record, produced by Andrew Farriss and recorded by Studios 301 at Andrew’s Piedmont Studio, will be released later in 2022.
‘We are in the presence of a great artist. This young man is as dynamic a performer as I have ever seen, singing brutal and joyous truths of family, love, loss and pride..’ Nadia Jade – Nothing Ever Happens In Brisbane – Tivoli Brisfest
‘The evocative voice of Yirrmal bookended the show, his vocals flying gracefully and emotionally throughout the hall, entrancing all who had the privilege of being there to listen.’ Ken Grady – Adelaide Festival – Review 1967: Music in the Key of Yes
‘There is something about Yirrmal that energises the room and when he smiles, it lights up the place….’ Julie Lowe – Woodford Folk Festival
‘Homecoming firebrand Yirrmal has honed the laser intensity of his voice around the pubs of Melbourne. Today, his passions inflamed by his return to country, he drives home his solo acoustic songs of belonging and bridge-building like nothing else matters’. Michael Dwyer – The Guardian