ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Ruby-Sofia, Noddy No Mask, RED Honcho & Lije.
The Australian scene as a whole continually proves itself week-in, week-out to be a certified hotbed nurturing some of the brightest talents in the world. In this week's 'Artist Spotlight', we're showcasing four talents who have continually proven themselves to be boundary-pushing and exceptionally talented individuals capable of taking the local scene to new heights. Melbourne's Ruby-Sofia radiates with a collaborative energy across her releases, whilst Gold Coast-born Noddy No Mask has exploded onto the scene in 2022 with a fiery, uncontainable sound. Sydney artists RED Honcho and Lije. then wrap the spotlight up as impressive talents who have stayed true to their inspirations whilst providing an unexpected twist to reel in fans.
An ever-present figure across Melbourne’s burgeoning alternative neo-soul, electronic, indie-pop and R&B movements, Ruby-Sofia has captivated listeners on an extensive variety of sonic pathways. Having teamed up with the likes of Melbourne producers Anunnaki and Orange Orange, Ruby-Sofia has continually showcased her wickedly entrancing grasp of bouncy melodies (‘No Flowers’ with RAKHI) and slow-tempo introspective musings (‘Study Period’) that hit the listener right in the feels. There is a warmth to Ruby-Sofia’s music, and it acts to shield the listener from the troubles of the world in the moment they undertake the musical journeys that her songs encompass. Her immense collaborative spirit has led to the unveiling of her new duo entitled bbsofii just this week. Combining both the versatile artistic talent of Ruby-Sofia with the production nous of fellow Melbourne-based creative bbsanii, and the literal merging of their artist names, bbsofii’s potential is limitless.
Noddy No Mask
Gold Coast-raised Noddy No Mask has hit the Australian scene with nothing but the full extent of his artistic finesse and lyrical prowess in 2022. Having only begun making music in February of this year, Noddy embodies a fresh presence and stylistic fearlessness that draws intimately from his influences and experiences. Tenacious and unapologetically himself, Noddy has paved his own unprecedented pathway in the Australian scene by infusing a fast-paced Southern trap sound on singles ‘Armed in Company’, ‘Outside’ and ‘Plotting and Scheming’ with Brisbane’s Jesse Jaxen. His upcoming mixtape ‘247’ features the likes of infamous Australian lyricist Flowz Dillione and Perth’s multitalented Sowdy and is set to leave listeners in awe of the inspiring talent that Noddy possesses in abundance. Noddy’s insatiable hunger undoubtedly translates to the unrelenting, raw and unfiltered status of his releases, and it certainly leaves us excited for more.
Returning for his first solo release in just under a year is West Sydney’s RED Honcho, who has teamed up with fellow Trackaddictz label member LDP68 on ‘Who You Feelin’. ‘Who You Feelin’ is both refreshing and undeniably true to RED Honcho, however it also symbolises the Mt Druitt artist’s willingness to evolve his sound and bring his own refreshing energy to drill in Australia. RED Honcho has been a staple of the West Sydney rap scene since the early 2010s, and has often been unafraid to take on different styles of rapping and singing to showcase the sheer variety he has honed in on as an artist. Typified by a precise lyrical brevity and assuredness in every word he says, Honcho is one to keep an eye on as he goes from strength-to-strength throughout the rest of the year and beyond.
Multifaceted Sydney artist Lije. has steadily built up an impressive discography laden with comforting singles. With just three official songs under his name – ‘Honey’, ‘FNTY’ and ‘Like That’ – plus an acoustic track entitled ‘Driveby’ on YouTube, Lije. is undoubtedly a fresh presence in the Australian scene – both in terms of time spent releasing music and the unique qualities of his sound. His floating harmonies and smooth, heartfelt R&B and pop vocals are central to the sophisticated set of singles he has so far released, and are a standout component of his artistic manner. Moreover, Lije.’s mature, thought-provoking lyrics reflect the depth of his understanding and perspective on the world around him, allowing the listener to better engage with his music as a result. Truthfully, Lije.’s latest release ‘Like That’ is my personal favourite from him so far, with the dynamic production serving to bring out the best in his upbeat vocals and leaving me in anticipation for more.
Photos by @lifein333s (Ruby-Sofia Photo 1), @ax__visuals (Noddy No Mask Photos) & @kelli_mcclintock (Lije. Photo 2)
Words by Matthew Badrov