NEW ARTIST DISCOVERIES: Moses, Nat Leila, kheprii & Strictly D.T
In the 20th edition of our ‘New Artist Discoveries’ segment we’re looking at four varied acts who are demonstrating an authentic musical presence within the Australian scene. South-East Melbourne artist and New Wave collective member Moses is bringing a refreshing energy to the drill landscape in Australia on his new single ‘Die Young (Freestyle)’, whilst fellow Melbourne-based artist Strictly D.T has brought together Johniepee and Jimmy Harwood for the laidback ‘BLOOD TYPE REAL’. Further along, Sydney’s Nat Leila is exploring the wistful nature of love and lust on ‘Marco Polo’ alongside North Brisbane’s Kheprii who is overcoming his inner turmoil with ambition and resilience on ‘Still Breathing’.
Song: ‘Die Young (Freestyle)’
Delivered in an off-the-dome format that impressively showcases Moses’ skillset as a charismatic rapper able to deftly display his quickfire wordplay and unrestrained bars with ease, ‘Die Young (Freestyle)’ will leave listeners in awe of what Moses can procure as a rapper. A member of South-East Melbourne’s New Wave crew – which comprises himself, TAKTiX and KiD LaZe – Moses has exploded onto the scene in the last year with an unsparing approach to drill that stays true to his values and experiences. The single explores both his own come-up and New Wave’s arrival onto the scene and the subsequent laneway they have paved for themselves by remaining steadfast to their vision and desire to shake-up an Australian rap scene that his spent far too long neglecting them.
Genre: Neo-soul X Pop
Song: ‘Marco Polo’
‘Marco Polo’ is the dreamy and calming debut release of Sydney-based vocalist Nat Leila. Traversing indie, dream-pop and neo-soul aesthetics, the track likens love and the feelings of lust that surround it to a game of ‘Marco Polo’ whereby one allows themselves to be vulnerable in order to truly allow love in. The track’s breezy and unencumbered musical energy is accentuated by the superb production by Andrew Hopkins which combines the free-flowing bubbliness of dream-pop and the enduring lyrical depth of neo-soul. Moreover, Nat Leila’s second verse offers a standout moment in the track as she opens with the soulfully-conveyed lyrics “Baby I know you can hear me, so I’ll just speak freely” that are accentuated by the playful keys and bopping drums. As far as debuts go, this is impeccable.
Genre: Emo rap
Song: ‘Still Breathing’
North Brisbane’s kheprii is an artist that firmly wears his heart unapologetically on his sleeve throughout every release he puts out. His recent single ‘Still Breathing’ powerfully demonstrates both the evolution of his music and the internal growth he has undergone throughout his artistic journey. Having released his debut EP ‘555’ in February of this year, ‘Still Breathing’ shows kheprii’s stylistic and thematic development whilst still staying true to the emo rap sonics of his previous tracks. ‘555’ is an EP that explores themes of alienation, fakeness and choosing isolation to escape pain, by contrast ‘Still Breathing’ retains kheprii’s emotional struggles with these issues except here he is buoyed by the self-belief in a greater purpose and success that he envisions for himself. We recommend getting around the young up-and-comer right away.
Song: ‘BLOOD TYPE REAL’ ft Johniepee & Jimmy Harwood
Melbourne-based lyricist, performer and poet Strictly D.T has followed up his first single of 2022 ‘MY LIFE’ with the soulful and laidback ‘BLOOD TYPE REAL’. Featuring fellow Melbournian Jimmy Harwood and Perth’s Johniepee, the track is a dedication to the authenticity that all three artists embody. Johniepee’s raw opening verse is driven by a free-thinking and open perspective, with Jimmy Harwood taking on the final verse and captivating with his truly inimitable voice. Bridging these verses is one of my favourite hooks from the year by way of D.T, who matches the quality lyricism from Johniepee and Jimmy on his own verse as well. By coming together with Johniepee and Jimmy Harwood, D.T has delivered an impressive collaboration that both harnesses the distinct talents of each artist and stays true to his soul, R&B and jazz influences.
@evokevisuals (Moses Photo 2), @shiveeykaay_ (Nat Leila Photos), @meaty / @detour_flicks (Strictly D.T Photo 1 / 2)
Words by Matthew Badrov