‘Who Are We?’ unites Melbourne to showcase the city’s diverse talent
“When the city calls, the city shows” - N.E.E.Z.Y
Over the weekend, West Melbourne’s multifaceted artist N.E.E.Z.Y brought the 3K together to spotlight the impeccable talent here in Melbourne city. Not only was the event decked out with phenomenal live performances from fellow hip-hop and R&B artists but, ‘Who Are We?’ featured a dynamic range of pop-ups from all aspects of Melburnian culture. From ‘The Braid Bar’ to ‘Senpai Apparel’, N.E.E.Z.Y boldy provided a platform for everyone’s passions to be showcased, reinforcing to the Australian music scene that collaboration is a vital key to success.
KIM CALAPARDO / CLEO SERANA
First-up we witnessed soulful performances from two of Melbourne’s most underrated R&B singers, Kim Calapardo and Cleo Serana who prepared the audience for the captivating night they were about to endure.
Kim Calapardo instantly enchanted the audience, by bringing all of his energy to the stage and performing 3 of his bouncy tracks, including his first drop of 2022 ‘The Way’. The king of remixes didn’t fail to impress despite it being his first live-performance in 11 months. Kim Calapardo is a treasure to the R&B scene down under, however when speaking to him he admits to seeing a clear divide and renouncement for Melbourne’s R&B acts.
“The R&B scene in Melbourne is really on the low…R&B artists should be recognised more, there’s a lot of talent out here.”
Living up to Kim’s immaculate performance and showcasing more of Melbourne’s R&B talent, Cleo Serana switched up the mood to a soft and sultry R&B sound that had the entire crowd swaying. Cleo’s impeccable vocal capability and range sung like angels in my ears. That was my first time hearing Cleo sing live and I will undeniably be on the lookout for more live performances from this queen just to relive this moment.
LOWRIDER / THE BRAID BAR / DESSERTS BY ALYSSA
Lowrider Melbourne, a car and bike exhibition organisation, pride themselves on bringing the community together. Their exhibitions give Melbourne City a chance to unite and celebrate their culture, which aligns directly with N.E.E.Z.Y’s intentions for ‘Who Are We?’. Diverging the culture’s experience even further with ‘The Braid Bar Melbourne’ and ‘Desserts by Alyssa’, local talent from all aspects was candidly showcased.
ANDRE JEMAL / LEGEND THE RAPPER
Continuing the flow of iconic performances, international born rappers Andre Jemal and Legend the Rapper, have a clear standpoint on uniting the scene in order to grow.
London-born Andre Jemal has noticed a clear difference in unity between the Australian and UK hip-hop scenes and aspires to see Australian artists collaborate in order to put Australian hip-hop on the map.
“The Melbourne scene needs to get up, we need to come together and support each other that’s what (‘Who Are We?”) is about - supporting each other. And Australia, we need to be the hub of hip-hop music because we have such a good growing scene. We all need to get together and do something, because, divided we fall.”
Andre Jemal put on a killer performance and effortlessly hyped up the crowd with his catchy bangers. By fusing rap and R&B Andre not only showcased his vocal range but he also revealed his passionate energy behind performing live. For those who are just starting to make music or have been too scared to start Andre has some influential advice for you.
“First off you gotta practice, that's number 1, don’t tell me you’re too tired from work, practice. Number 2 you have to get out and meet people, even if you’re introverted…do something out of your comfort zone - I used to go to shows by myself because as an only child no one has the same interests as me.”
Fellow team member of Amour Music Group, Legend The Rapper shares the same work ethic and drive as Andre and is not afraid to express his authentic sound whether he is in the studio or on stage. Having headlined a show just a week beforehand, at ‘Who Are We?’ Legend was no stranger to the stage and undoubtedly took his performance to the next level - literally.
Legend effortlessly hyped up the crowd with his performance which certified that creating music and performing live comes naturally to Legend and advises that every artist in the scene puts their own craft first.
“I want to see more love for each other man, everybody out here is like really out for each other's throat like- I get it it’s a friendly competition…but at the same time I feel like a lot of artists are trying too hard, focusing on everybody else like listen - make your music and work on your craft and give these people what they want.”
SENPAI APPAREL / MOEY ELTOM / WATERMELON SUNDAES
Turning dreams into a reality Senpai Apparel and Moey Eltom had unmissable pop-ups at ‘Who Are We?”. From printing their own t-shirts to accommodate attendees’ streetwear wardrobe at Senpai’s stall, to the digital artworks from Moey that highlighted all aspects of pop-culture, it was clear that these natural born creatives had a huge passion for pursuing their dreams. After appeasing your eyes with stellar artwork, we all appeased our tummies with some of Australia’s juiciest chicken from Watermelon Sundaes who always know how to put on a damn good feed.
The man of the night, N.E.E.Z.Y brought all of the good vibes and energy to the entire event and had everyone gassed up for his lively performance. The West Melbourne rapper is undeniably one of the hardest working artists in the Australian scene, dropping over 10 tracks this year alone and it’s only March.
“I do this for the love and the passion that I have… being able to put out music on a weekly basis is more than enough for me, any more hype and love and money that comes along with it is a bonus.”
There are not enough words in the dictionary to describe how intoxicating N.E.E.Z.Y’s energy was during his performance. Watching him in his element was an absolute privilege and it became so very apparent to everyone in the crowd that music is what N.E.E.Z.Y was born to do. Finishing his performance with an acapella freestyle just further solidified the man’s talent and indisputable passion for performing.
“To have people come out and support not just me but everyone else here, from the line-ups to the DJ’s to the food, the pop-ups, the artwork, that's all that I can ask for. The whole point of this event was really to bring the city together”
And N.E.E.Z.Y did just that, ‘Who Are We?’ truly captured what the Melbourne scene is capable of and how collaboration all around Australia is a necessity in order for the music scene to thrive.
Photo's of Kim Calapardo Cleo Serana - Unknown
All other photos by Violet Murphy
Words by Violet Murphy