We’re collaborating with some of Australia’s hottest cultural artists and influencers to hear their thoughts on music, culture and more. To Listen Better.
Sydney-based electronic music duo SET MO – aka Nick Drabble and Stu Turner – habe veen described by i-D magazine as ‘Australia’s most optimistic band’. The pair first came together as DJs in 2012 and instantly bonded over a shared fondness for burgers, pho, sneakers and beer, as well as a common love of artists including Basement Jaxx, Booka Shade, Chemical Brothers, Groove Armada, Jamie XX, Moby and classic 1980s house.
Since progressing from spinning to producing tunes, SET MO’s best-known release is the house beauty White Dress, which has been played a phenomenal 20-odd million times on Spotify.
KLP, aka Kristy Lee Peters is a multi-talented heavyweight on the Australian music scene. When she’s not writing or recording her own music, collaborating with local and international artists such as The Presets, Nicole Millar and What So Not, or co-writing with other musicians, you’ll find her hosting the nation’s hottest dance music program, triple j’s House Party on Saturday nights.
With millions of online plays to her name, KLP has been called ‘one of the electronic musicians running Australia’s new golden age of music’, and she’s a regular fixture at high-profile events and festivals such as Splendour in the Grass and the Falls Festival. Since she’s the giving type, KLP also invests plenty of energy mentoring young singers and songwriters as an APRA AMCOS Ambassador and has recently formed ‘Ricochet’ to support women in creative endeavours. Oh…and she’s signed with powerhouse BMG as a songwriter - not much going on then.
DMA’S are an Australian three-piece rock band, formed in 2012 in Sydney. The band is composed of Matt Mason, Tommy O’Dell, and Johnny Took. They gained popularity for their debut single “Delete” and for their self-titled EP released in 2014. Their musical sound has led to comparisons to the band Oasis.
In early 2016, the band released a full-length album titled Hills End. It peaked at number 8 on the ARIA Albums Chart upon release in March 2016. In April 2016 they appeared on the cover of Australian magazine, Happy Mag. Their song “Play it Out” features as one of the songs on FIFA 17, the EA Sports video game.
A unique force on the Australian music scene, Thandi Phoenix’s power-packed, soulful vocals will stop you in your tracks. At just 24, singer-songwriter Thandi’s blend of pop, electronica and raw storytelling have made her one of the country’s ‘most promising up and comers’, and she’s already won accolades supporting international acts including Rudimental and Tinie Tempah and local talent Vera Blue.
With her latest drum and bass flavoured track produced by Rudimental, Thandi’s lyrics call on us to carve our own path. Previous hits include Standing Too Close, which combined hints of UK garage with South African house, and Tell Me Where All The Lovers Have Gone, which both hit the #1 spot on the Australian Spotify Viral Charts. Thandi is a regular at top-tier festivals such as Splendour in the Grass and Bluesfest.
From her days as a ‘geeky kid performing in primary school assemblies’, 21-year-old Odette has packed plenty into her young life. From early soul and funk sounds introduced by her South African mother to the piano-playing bloodlines of her jazz pianist grandpa, Odette’s songs feature powerful melodies and lyrical tributes to love, loss and pain. Her debut single Watch Me Read You was streamed more than 4.5 million times on Spotify; and reached #56 on triple j’s Hottest 100.
A prolific poet, Odette’s intensely personal debut record To A Stranger was produced by Damian Taylor, whose pedigree includes Björk, The Killers and The Temper Trap. Capturing the hopes, fears, scars and heartbreaks of teenage life, Odette used this record to write her way out of ‘the hardest years of my life so far’ – and now she’s sharing that journey with us on her first national tour.
Born in the Netherlands to Syrian and Iraqi parents, 24-year-old singer and musician Wafia enjoyed a nomadic European childhood filled with Europop, R&B and traditional Arabic tunes before she settled in Brisbane and her life was forever changed when she heard The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Her electronic pop confronts everything from heartache and fractured families to political and social alienation. Her debut single Heartburn won the attention of Pharrell Williams on his radio show, while her recently released second solo EP, VIII, showcases a diverse mix of simmering R&B, balladry and effervescent pop. She’s come a long way from playing weddings and gigging at her Dad’s restaurant to fund demos.
A creative consultant specialising in building and positioning brands and creating connections between brands and popular culture, Gary Aspden has been knee-deep in youth culture from an early age. A fashion promotion graduate and sneaker-head, Gary was instrumental in adidas’ visionary 2000 trend marketing strategy, the global launch of adidas Originals and iconic collaborations with brands such as Bathing Ape, Y3, Kazuki for Originals and more.
The creative drive behind adidas’ archival Spezial capsule collection for adidas Originals, Gary is revered for his deep brand knowledge and vast collection of vintage adidas. London-based Gary has twice been honoured as one of the 100 most influential people in fashion by The Face magazine and is a regular contributor to Arena Homme+ and SHOWstudio.com
Shinsaku ‘Shin’ Fukayama
Japanese-born Shinsaku was a teen snowboarding sensation who moved to Canada to hit the slopes professionally. Tragically, an accident whilst shooting a film in the USA put a sudden stop to his snowboarding career at just 25, prompting him to return to Osaka, where he worked as a chef with his father.
After falling in love with his father’s new espresso machine, Shinsaku relocated to the coffee capital of the world – Melbourne – to learn more about the fine art of coffee, and to study English. Here he came across the ST ALi crew who taught him the mystery of making coffee. In typical Japanese style, he bought his own espresso machine and began practising at home every day. His passion and determination paid off when in 2016 he took out 1st place at the World Latte Art Coffee Festival, and again this year when he won the coveted title of Australian Latte Art Champion.
Founder and Director of creative music agency UNDR Ctrl, home to a niche roster of local and international electronic artists, Paul Stix’s music industry knowhow has been honed in various roles over the years, from promoter and PR Manager at London’s infamous Turnmills nightclub, to a founding member of UK festivals South West Four and Get Loaded in the Park, to running booking agency Modular Records.
These days UNDR Ctrl represents artists including Bag Raiders, Total Giovanni, Just A Gent, San Holo, Set Mo, Poloshirt, Annie Bass and MUTO – among others. The agency is also the name behind acclaimed Sydney harbour music series The Island LIVE, Output Festival on Goat Island and Mixmag’s live stream broadcast series. Stix is also co-founder and Director of Musica Copa, the Australian music industry’s charity five-a-side football tournament.
No Vacancy Inn’s Acyde Odunlami is pretty hard to pin down. Marketing consultant, music producer, DJ and an expert on curating experiences via radio, pop-ups and the online world, No Vacancy Inn strives to inform the next generation about the ‘history and context of the music and style they regard as their own’.
A former Nike marketing manager who consults for Converse, Acyde has been called ‘the most authentic perspective I’ve seen in modern times: real intellect, real points of reference, real ideas’ by influential Off White designer and Louis Vuitton Artistic Director Virgil Abloh. Inspired by club culture, No Vacancy Inn, which he founded with Tremaine Emory, has been described as a moving ‘radio station/clothing/brand/party collective’.
SA — 21 July
Following on from Set Mo and Gary Aspden, Acyde Odunlami of No Vacancy Inn will fill the house with the music curated just for the occasion.
Michelle Pitiris aka SHE IS APHRODITE is a music and fashion photographer who has worked with artists and musicians from around the world such as The 1975, Angus & Julia Stone, Wolf Alice, Glass Animals, LANY, Vera Blue, DMA’s, and The Jezabels. Her work has been seen in Rolling Stone Magazine, Paper Magazine and Fashion Journal. Michelle is the curator and creator of Cherchez La Femme; a photographic series focusing on Australian women in music wearing Australian fashion designers.
WE — 11/21 July
Battlehymn: A photographic exhibition
SheisAphrodite has travelled the country to capture some fiercely beautiful images of emerging female talent, unveiled for the first time at Sonos House, with each image accompanied by a “Battlehymn”.
A bit about Sarah. Sarah Wilson is a New York Times bestselling author, former journalist and founder of IQuitSugar.com, Australia’s largest digital wellness site. Most recently she published First, We Make the Beast Beautiful, A New Story of Anxiety, which has been a bestseller in Australia and will be published in the US and UK in April 2018. On the side, always she campaigns against consumerist waste.
These days, Bowditch is a musician, broadcaster, an O.G. entrepreneur, speaker, and soon to be a published author.
She has won Rolling Stone Woman of the Year for her contribution to Australian culture, the coveted ARIA Award for Best Female for her music, and has been nominated for a Logie Award for her role as Rosanna on popular television show Offspring. She will record her eighth album with Universal Musical in late 2018, and release her first non-fiction book – a partial memoir - with Allen and Unwin in late 2019.
L-FRESH The LION
Renowned for his powerful presence, inspiring live shows and thought-provoking lyrics, Western Sydney hip-hop artist L-FRESH The LION has fast become a fixture at major festivals and events ranging from the NRL and AFL Grand Finals to Groovin The Moo, Splendour in the Grass and WOMADelaide – and supporting international stars as diverse as Elton John, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Rag N Bone Man.
His second album BECOME received multiple award nominations and was described as ‘one of the year’s most vital hip hop releases’, and his latest music video RACIST/OUR WORLD was chosen to premier at New York’s Tribeca TV Festival. In a nod to his influence and reach, the artist has been appointed as an Ambassador for the AFL, Multicultural NSW, White Ribbon Australia and All Together Now.