Collaborations the Australian scene needs
Australian hip-hop and R&B is progressing faster than ever and is on an unstoppable route to take over the ears of listeners all over the world. Every single artist, producer or DJ that I’ve interviewed thus far, always highlights that collaboration is the key to success in any industry. If we’re looking at the Australian music scene specifically, this sentiment is undeniably true, from The Kid LAROI and Juice WRLD to Day1 and KAHUKX joining forces not only produce some of the best contemporary music out there, but that also allows listeners to enjoy an entirely new experience. We’re kick-starting this week with a fresh, new segment breaking down Australian hip-hop and R&B artists who we’d love to see collaborate. With the abundance of talent on display we’re fusing a variety of genres with incredibly talented acts from across the nation that’ll hopefully manifest into many collaborations in the future.
BIG SKEEZ X RAF RECEIPT
If you’re not already tapped into the Australian Afro-fusion scene, then that rock you’re living under is a little bigger than you think. Australia is bursting with underrated Afro-Aussie artists and here for the take over I present Big Skeez and Raf Receipt. The two remarkable Sydney-based musicians have taken off this year, with Big Skeez delving into Reggae and UK Garage and Raf Receipt transitioning from a mellow and melodic Afro Swing sound to an uptempo and seductive steez.
On a track together Big Skeez and Raf Receipt would thrive by delivering a bouncy summer Afrobeat anthem to keep the world vibing come December. Rapper, singer and producer Big Skeez has the vocal ability to match any genre. His captivating bars would pair seamlessly with Raf’s melodies, creating an intricate track filled with powerful energy and jovial lyricism. So far from Raf Receipt listeners have been blessed with soulful and smooth singles. However, by slightly switching up the tempo and producing a traditional Afrobeat track, both his discography and Big Skeez’s could be elevated to new heights. With their modern twist on hip-hop, R&B and Afro-fusion the pair might just take over the nation.
A.GIRL X PANIA
Two attributes that instantly come to mind when I hear the familiar names of A.GIRL and PANIA are, a shamelessly fierce attitude and the ability to finesse any track with their immaculate vocal talent. I could only imagine how iconic a collaboration between the two artists would be, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was one of the greatest tracks in Australia’s music history. Not only have the two solo acts established their own unique artistry and presence in the Australian scene, but their passion for hip-hop and R&B stands out and makes it easy to identify them on any track.
Debuting her single ‘2142’ in 2019, A.GIRL started her journey as a melodic R&B singer, but now in 2022 it is clear that her vocal diversity will forever be evolving. Similar to PANIA who debuted the soulful ‘ICYY’ in 2020, both artists are not afraid to dive into their own unique lanes after releasing R&B singles early on in their careers. A.GIRL can now be heard spitting her razor-sharp, quick-witted bars on drill or introspective hip-hop tracks like ‘We Them Boyz’ and ‘The Block’. Whilst PANIA too covers drill and dabbles into Afro-fusion and reggae-tinted beats evident on her latest release ‘MY CREW’. Both proudly repping their areas of Granville and West-Melbourne as well as their shared motherland of Aotearoa, this interstate collaboration would go down in history as one of Australia’s most iconic performances.
$MO X I.E
If you can resonate with deep and enticingly sensual R&B then you’ll love to see this collaboration between Canberra-raised crooner $MO and Sydney-based multi-faceted artist, I.E. In a scene where neo-soul and R&B is flourishing there’s still a void in the dark R&B spectrum that could be filled with the help of the introspective $MO and I.E.
$MO’s latest EP entitled ‘VOL 1.11’ takes listeners on a journey that explores the boundless layers of falling into lust and letting go. The EP is charged with luring, deep and melodic tracks like ‘Floor 56’ that purely demonstrates his ability to sonically tap into his candid self every release. I.E on the other hand, is an artist who’s hard to pin to just one genre. The limitless rapper has dipped into trap R&B, alternative hip-hop and has released chillwave R&B tracks (particularly early on in his career) that are reminiscent of the sounds of PARTYNEXTDOOR. On his most recent single ‘Gone!’, like $MO, I.E comes correct with confidence and a radiant alpha aura. Together on a track - whether it’d be a captivating, sultry single or a gut-wrenchingly fast pace instrumental - the pair's voices would be compatible beyond doubt.
LEMAIRE X KMAY
A Queensland duo that would perfectly curate a tune for those hot summer nights spent at the beach, Lemaire and KMAY are all over laidback, Aussie, jazz rap. Carrying their own easy-going voices and styles through the scene, the two remarkable artists serve intelligent bars layered with laidback beats to create genuinely blissful tracks. Between the two artists I’d love to see a lo-fi hip-hop track fueled by back and forth lyricism exploring different perspectives from the same situation. With the power of their established lyrical capabilities and differentiating vocal tones, the duo would harmonise seamlessly.
Lemaire’s EP released in May this year entitled ‘What Did You Expect?’ is a prime example of the talent of which this artist holds. Specifically on his tracks ‘What?!’ and ‘Be Myself’ with features from renowned artists L33ze and BOY SODA, the Gold Coast-based rapper has been able to showcase how effortlessly he collaborates with other vocalists. His labyrinth-like bars would be paired perfectly with KMAY’s headstrong lyrics and solidified confidence. KMAY’s latest single ‘My Mind’ carries a similar lo-fi rap production to Lemaire’s discography and her authentic tone and raw lines would easily complete the duo. Both of the Queensland rappers also dabble into melodic rap and so together they could cover some smooth vocal progressions which could make for some beautiful euphonies. If Lemaire and KMAY ever join forces just know I’m the one blasting their track at the beach.
Big Skeez Photo 1 by @moistmark // Photo 2 by @billyzammit
Raf Receipt Photo 1 by @_karabo_
A.GIRL Photo 1 by @Janiebarrettphotos // Photo 2 by @kumehanik
PANIA Photo 1 by @jadedamico
Lemaire Photo 1 by @ni_cnussy // Photo 2 by @fever_media
KMAY Photo 1 by @jcbmrrsn
Words by Violet Murphy