ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: GMC, MIM, yngfraser & Coley
We continue to be amazed by the endless talent emerging in Australia, with particular focus on the clever way artists are taking the established hip-hop and R&B genres and reshaping them into their own unique musical creation. In this week’s ‘Artist Spotlight’, we’ve selected four passionate and gifted artists continuing to confidently showcase their undeniable ability within the Australian music scene. Melbourne artist GMC displays his flair for musical flexibility and dynamic artistry, whilst Sydney’s MIM astounds with her mesmerising vocal performances and sophisticated style. Perth’s yngfraser excites us with his jaw-droppingly beautiful voice and sensual R&B hits, while Sydney’s Coley displays his impressive versatility not only within the sub-genres of hip-hop, but the content of his lyrics.
The epitome of versatility, Melbourne artist GMC has honed a distinctly adaptable artistry and knack for killing any feature over his years in the music scene. 2022 has been an impressive year for the Australian-Filipino artist, having released a collaborative album entitled ‘Touching The Sky’ with his producer-in-crime Johnny Narcotics and fellow Burn City artist Kiddo, alongside a collaborative EP with West Sydney’s Ello. C called ‘BRICK NOT HIT BACK’, and finally his own EP ‘SAD BOY SONGS’ in and amongst a range of singles. Undoubtedly, GMC has developed his artistry with every successive release, amassing a stacked discography that is reflective of a talented individual aspiring to take the Australian scene to big heights. With his discography extending beyond traditional hip-hop and R&B forms to include soundscapes of Afro-fusion, club rap and grime, GMC has consistently proven to be a multifaceted artist who as an undoubted advantage to every track he’s a part of. Being so collaboratively-driven has seen him work with the likes of Australian acts Kiddo, Rydah, Jessica Jade, KingTheFreeSoul, Ello. C, Alj, Rini and Vanessa Librea among others, often showcasing his capacity for infectious hooks and for being the focal point that allows the artists around him to mesh seamlessly, such as on his and Ello. C’s track ‘S.M.S’. However, that is not to take away from his tenaciousness as a rapper where he consistently demonstrates his proficiency with lively wordplay and heated bars by equal measure on tracks such as ‘Villainous’ and ‘Freeway’. As relentless as GMC’s work rate has been in 2022, we don’t see him slowing down anytime soon and cannot wait for what’s to come.
Weaving a tapestry of deeply sensitive musical works accentuated by her heart being firmly planted on her sleeve, Sydney’s MIM is an alternative R&B artist who deserves your immediate attention. Distinguished by a distinct presence of reassurance and a willingness to embrace emotions for what they are, MIM poignantly drives the themes and depth of her work with sophistication. Resolutely, MIM’s silky vocals and lush melodies are what immediately reel the listener in, however from there, the unpredictability of her vocal performance actively lends an experimental edge to her approach to R&B that keeps the listener hooked. Her debut release ‘Morning’ came in 2020 and was an immediate showing of her eloquent grasp of pulsating R&B aesthetics and expressive lyrical musings. From there though, MIM has risen as a confident force in the Australian scene, going on to feature on Kerser’s 2020 album ‘Roll The Dice’ via the track ‘I’m 2 Smooth’ and releasing a collaborative EP that same year entitled ‘Butterfly Effect’ with fellow Sydney-based artist Joseph Scott. The moody and contemplative project brings together the two artists for an exploration into their separate experiences with divisive relationships and is an impressive showing of their talents. By comparison, MIM’s solo release ‘Vino’ is drenched in a pervasive atmosphere of yearning, whereby MIM relents to her willingness to subside a relationship’s troubles in order to embrace a love and connection that feels more distant than ever. The fact that MIM’s music so easily stays with you is a testament to her staying power and individuality as an artist, and it is a factor that has us excited for the trajectory her musical journey takes from here.
Budding Perth R&B artist yngfraser has announced the release of his debut album ‘When The Time Comes’, for November 11 this year. yngfraser’s currently slim but promising discography offers engaging hip-hop beats layered with lyrics about the timeless R&B topics of romance, heartbreak, and sex. Emerging into the music world by posting his covers of well-known R&B and hip-hop tracks on social media, yngfraser’s stunning voice and clever song writing ability gained traction instantly. His cover of DJ Khaled’s ‘I’m The One’, where he added his own original verse, went viral on SoundCloud and now sits at 1.7 million streams. As a result, yngfraser was inspired and motivated to release original music and dropped his first track in January of this year. This debut single ‘Beamer’ remains his highest played track on Spotify with over 100, 000 listens. yngfraser has spent 2022 growing and refining his sound, dropping an additional five singles over the year. In his track ‘Alone’, he experiments with intwining a recognisable melody and a similar chord progression from US artist Tory Lanez’s 2019 R&B track ‘Broken Promises’ into this song. The vocal intonation of the first few bars of ‘Alone’ sound similar to the hook of ‘Broken Promises’, but aside from this example yngfraser presents his own genuine melodies and vocal flow for the most part. With his upcoming album approaching its release, it is safe to say that yngfraser is ready to take over the Australian R&B music scene.
Originally from London but now hailing from Sydney, Coley delivers magnetic and catchy hip-hop music blending an array of sub-genres. His ability to create diverse sounds, capturing moments in every song, while keeping consistent with his hip-hop focused artistry is one of the dominating qualities he possesses. His freshest single ‘Monte Carlo’ possesses head-bopping drums and classic rap lyrics about travelling abroad, partying and designer brands. Despite these expectedly cliché lyrics, Coley makes a point of rapping, “I hope I never change / for the chains and the blacked-out Range / or the Bentley Mulsanne / if I’m balling”. In the past, he has showcased his capacity to encapsulate brighter moments, a great example being his vibrant track ‘$UMM3RT!ME’ in which the lyrics describe the beauty of the summer season. With a passion for connecting with likeminded people through his music, Coley has also released a number of slow, heartfelt tracks. ‘Stuck Inside’ and ‘Trying My Hardest’ hit close to home for a lot of listeners, portraying relatable narratives about love, loss, and heartache. Both of these aforementioned tracks generate wistful blue feelings, allowing Coley to reach listeners struggling with life or feeling misunderstood to assure them they’re not alone. ‘Trying My Hardest’ in particular conveys serene nostalgia and sadness with its delicate acoustic guitar strumming and emotional, almost eerie synthesised sounds. Coley’s lyrics demonstrate his ability to touch on relatable topics and connect with listeners as he sings, “I’ve been seeing you struggle, do it all on your own / So I just can’t bring myself to leave you alone”. Coley’s versatility and flexibility within the sound of hip-hop while simultaneously maintaining his established brand as an artist will enable him to shine brightly in the Australian music scene.
Words by Livdaangel & Matthew Badrov
Photos by @par.reyes / @cajili (GMC Photos 1/2), @ccameronoates (MIM Photos), @filmedbybc (Coley Photo 1)