ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Andre Bugatti, Kayps, ANGE & Steez Malase
It’s about that time where we bring out our latest ‘Artist Spotlight’ segment to showcase some of the finest budding talents that are developing right here in Australia. On this week’s ‘Artist Spotlight’ we have Sydney-based artist Andre Bugatti who has defined his own unique sound within the Australian new wave R&B scene, as well as fellow Harbourside artist ANGE who is merging her Spanish heritage with a distinct neo-soul feel. West Coast artist and producer Kayps is a young up-and-comer demonstrating a fearlessness on every single release he puts out, whilst Brisbane’s Steez Malase is wearing the 4K on his sleeve with unapologetic confidence on his releases.
To sum up Andre Bugatti via genre definitions feels like one is boxing him in. An indefinable artist actively seeking to faciliate a specific mood for listeners, Bugatti’s music perpetually unravels in unexpected directions – undoubtedly to the delight of listeners. His 2020 debut ‘Indispensable’ is a psychedelic slice of hazy love that blurs the lines between lust and deep connection, all in the pursuit of creating a specific alluring atmosphere for listeners. Distinguished by uncanny vocal enhancements, Bugatti’s debut EP ‘Recurrence’ intersects the genres of indie, trap, R&B, emo rap and much more with insightful intent. Bugatti shines effortlessly on every track, refusing to give anything but the truest account of his capacity as an artist. A personal favourite of mine, ‘Berry Yellow Trench Coat’ (released separately to the EP), is bubbly, but melancholic at the same time. And it’s this uncertain emotional trajectory that Andre fashions himself sonically which makes him stand out as an artist free of musical self-constraint.
To confidently say that you have two albums, plus one collaborative album, under your belt whilst you’re still in high school is an unlikely feat for a majority of artists worldwide. But this is a credit to the workrate of Walmatjarri and Bunuba artist and producer Kayps, who boasts three projects – ‘Sunflower’, ‘BEAUTY AMONG THE CHAOS’ and ‘PARADOX 2’ with Lil Ducky – officially under his name. The up-and-comer’s potential is elevated with every astounding release his puts out, and has been further reaffirmed by the release of his latest single ‘Mimosa’ which blends Spanish samples and a bass-heavy beat alongside Kayps’ uninhibited flow. The inspired youngster has collaborated across Perth as well, with his quickfire remix verse alongside Melbourne’s KILL Carter on fellow Perth artist Wesley Black’s electronic-rap fusion ‘Still!’ an awe-inspiring testament to Kayps’ ability to captivate listeners instantly. There’s no denying that Kayps is on a determined path fashioned by his own fearlessness as an artist willing to experiment with a multitude of styles, melodies and genres.
Barcelona-born, Sydney-based artist ANGE combines a sophisticated balance of neo-soul, R&B and pop stylings across her multifaceted and vibrant discography. Having just released her debut EP ‘Una Vez Más’ in May, ANGE has already left a significant imprint on the Australian soul scene through the infusion of her Spanish heritage within her dynamic sound. Connecting with the likes of fellow Sydneysiders Anieszka, Chelsea Warner, Sumatra and Lamalo on a variety of collaborations has led ANGE to continue to grow as an artist whilst consistently radiating a warm, welcoming tone in her music. And while ‘Una Vez Más’ showcases this energy throughout its 5-track runtime, it further displays ANGE’s capacity for traversing many sounds with ease. Such a notion is exemplified through the neo-soul leanings and the emotional disaffection expressed towards an unfulfilling relationship on ‘Life ain’t better with you’ which is matched by the Latin-inspired enchanting energy of ‘Enamorada’, further intimating ANGE’s ability to breathe life into an assortment of sounds.
Brisbane-based artist Steez Malase has continually proven himself to be a formidable force in the Australian scene. The Imperical Collective member has steadily developed as a go-to artist for that precise lyrical brevity and seemingly nonchalant approach that reflects his desire to mean everything he says, and not just speak for the sake of it. A proud representative of the 4K, Steez operates with total assurance in all of his work, something which is fully encompassed on his latest drop ‘Whippin’, a track which gives him the platform to coolly spit bar after bar with confidence about the city he loves and calls home. Without a doubt, Steez’s collaborative spirit forgoes any ego-driven work, meaning he comes together with those from his city and beyond with the intention of building the scene to reach the potential it undoubtedly can hit. It’s a notion that the Imperial Collective has been built upon, and one that he carries with him into all aspects of his artistry.
@bebeto.idris / @morrisonchristoph (Andre Bugatti Photo 1 & 2), @3v3rybodys.famous (Kayps Photo 1), @megs_and_the_negs (ANGE Photos), @hazealieu (Steez Malase Photo 2)
Words by Matthew Badrov