Poetry

Omar Musa – World Goes to Pieces

Thursday, July 8th, 2010 | News | No Comments
Omar Musa - World Goes to Pieces

Hey Peoples…

Throwing back to an earlier piece on Australian Slam Poet Champion Omar Musa, the man’s released his first studio album of Australian hip hop with a unique twist.

Always the gentleman, he’s decided to post the album online for free download for all of those looking for some new materials to chill out to this coooooooooooooooold winter! so head on down to www.obmmusic.com to take a listen.

Press release comin at ya:
Omar Musa is a rapper cut from a different cloth. The 26 year old from Queanbeyan, Australia, won the Australian Poetry Slam at the Opera House in 2008 and believes his debut album “World Goes to Pieces” sets a new standard in poetry and genre-bending in Australian hip-hop. Produced entirely in Seattle, USA, with rock veteran Geoff Stanfield (Sun Kil Moon, Black Lab) it is jam packed with chunky beats, thoughtful lyrics and outright weirdness. From the wild, industrial opening track Nomad to the luscious ode to summer and love Pura Vida (The One), the Malaysian-Australian MC brings a poetic flair to “World Goes to Pieces”. He bears down on wide ranging subjects such as Aboriginal poverty on What We See, his hometown on Raise Up, his relationship with his father on Sunshine and one night stands and “black-lit dreams” on the space age Neon Address.

An ambitious representation of a young man caught between activism and partying, love and depression, Musa says “I treated this album as if it was my last, so everything had to count.” Stanfield and Musa called in help from inspirational keys player Dave LeBolt (Paul McCartney, David Bowie), French jazz pianist Pierre Savoye, as well as Bay Area rappers Young Murph and Mighty Joe. The artwork, an original painting by Vancouver’s Ben Tour, is a testament to this perfectionist approach.

“I know Geoff was influenced by Massive Attack, Bjork and Portishead, but you can also hear the West Coast influence on there,” says Musa. “In terms of lyrical approach, I took influences from everyone from Kanye West and Ben Okri to Gil Scott-Heron. We weren’t afraid to push things a bit and I wasn’t afraid to be brutally honest about my life. Considering the cookie cutter music out there at the moment, it seemed the natural thing to do.”

enjoy

…bs

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Mihirangi

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 | News | No Comments
Mihirangi

Maya Angelou – Phenomenal Women
“…it’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s….

“mihi – to greet, pay tribute, acknowledge, thank
rangi – day, sky, heavens, heavenly realm, heaven, weather, tenor, drift, tune, air, melody”

What would you expect at a poetry evening at the State Museum of Victoria? Wine?  Sure. Couches?  Possibly but only one at the front. A loop pedal?  Oh hell no, wait!  Is this the right room? How about the introduction to “the maori princess of funk” who’s rocking a diamond shape tãmoko in the centre of her forehead? I shit you not, this is what they call a ‘poetry evening’ these days and I lapped it ALL up.

Through hypnotic live looping, Mihirangi opened this particular poetry night with diversity and roots based flavor, with an original song, “No War”. Infusing Te Reo Maori and English languages effortlessly throughout her performance, Mihirangi’s infectious joy oozes from her very being, and captured our hearts at the answer to “how did you come about all of this?” “Oh, because I couldn’t get the band motivated to tour so I left them behind.”

Mihirangi’s mix of beat boxing, vocal harmonies, percussion, acoustic guitar and flute combined with potent lyrics addressing indigenous and environmental issues have ensured her place as one of the most exciting, original and conscious solo performers of Australasia. Her one woman show has been mesmerizing audiences all over the world, and she has quickly become a favourite at world festivals performing with the likes of K’Naan, Public Enemy, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Lee Scratch Perry, Blue King Brown, The Resin Dogs, Salmonella Dub and Ladi6.  This girl has got so much raw talent and enthusiasm it is an honour to watch her perform.

Mihirangi - Live at Womad

Performances at “Power to The Peaceful” Festival in support of social justice, non-violence, and environmental sustainability in San Francisco, to an audience of 60,000 people and to an audience of globally active artists including The Dixie Chicks, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Pierce Brosnan and Martin Sheen at their 30th Anniversary Benefit concert in LA.
Mihirangi’s credibility comes down to the fact she is so fucking honest.  With her music, her audience and herself and she sends a clear message to all that hear her…

“He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata,     he tangata, he tangata”
(-Sir Apirana Ngata)

“What is the greatest thing in the world? It is people. It is people, it is people”

I have been a bit biased to show so much love to our sisters of soul; however I’ve found solace within her Kulcha Nation lyrics.
Maybe you will too.

“You ignore your own responsibility
towards the world and your community.
Because you think that your life
has no guarantee
So this is a message from me to you and you to me…
No more repeats of boring warring histories.
Man that’s old school, education’s to blame.
We’ve gotta teach our kids about truth, compassion and change.
Don’t forget to mention our leaders redemption,
jubilation of cultural nations
with ritual and spiritual celebration”

You can check out more of Mihirangi at:

www.myspace.com/kulchanation

www.mihirangi.com
Right on!

miss P.

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Omar Musa

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 | News | 2 Comments
Omar Musa

This week we caught up with Omar Musa and talked about three of my favourite things, hip hop, poetry, and of course… ladies

I first heard of you as the Australian Slam poet champ, now you have a new music video out. So which came first; poetry or music?

Definitely poetry. I have been writing poetry since I was a young child. My father was a poet in Malaysia, so he always encouraged me. I’m an only child and we didn’t have much money growing up, so writing and painting kept me busy. Once I was in my teens, I got into Wu Tang Clan, Ice Cube and Public Enemy, because I realised that hip-hop was modern poetry, but contemporary and accessible, unlike a lot of written poetry.

The video for Hemmingway was shot in London, have you made the move out of Australia or was this just for the video?

I lived in London most of last year working with grime artists such as Akala, which was amazing. I shot the video during that time with Tom Spiers, a genius of a director and gem of a guy. The video was painstaking work, mostly shot between the hours of 10pm and 4am. I’m back here in Australia now. It was a bit too hectic, cold and dreary over there. London pretty much swallowed me up and spat me out!

Omar Musa – Hemingway


How do you find it to be an Australian hip hopper? is this something that goes down well with audiences, or do you find is conjures up the wrong image of your music?

It’s weird. Overseas people either go bananas cos my style is something totally new to them, or they don’t quite “get” it. In the Australian poetry scene, I get the feeling that people think you are going to be less literate or intelligent because you are a rapper, which is annoying, but something I hope I’m helping to change.

What’s playing on your ipod at the moment dude?

Man, a lot of stuff. I still listen to a lot of Kanye West, Jay-Z and OutKast. But the albums I’m listening to the most at the moment are ‘Troubador’ by K’Naan, ‘Dummy’ by Portishead and ‘Boy in da Corner’ by Dizzeee Rascal. I really like stuff that pushes the boundaries a bit. There is so much lame, cheesy shit out there are the moment.

What gets you more love interest… being a rapper, or being a poet?… and do they attract different audiences?

Haha. I guess being a rapper, because women seem to be attracted to the allure of a bad boy musician. Little do they know I’m a mad bookworm who spends most of my spare time in second hand bookshops and galleries haha. And yeah, poetry and hip-hop attract really different audiences. I love both equally, though sometimes poetry can be a bit wanky and hip-hop a bit too aggressive.

What’s up next for Omar Musa?

A bunch of shows, writers’ festivals and most importantly, I’ll be recording my full length album in Seattle, USA, with Geoff Stanfield. I want people to realise that I’m Australian hip-hop’s most powerful, important and intelligent new voice.  I’m trying to do everything in my power to make that happen. Keep supporting independent music!

Also, I just released a free download mixtape, so if people are interested they can get to it here

Peace,

Omar

And you can check out more from Omar Musa at:

www.myspace.com/omarmusa

…bs

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Def Poetry – Australia represent

Monday, June 8th, 2009 | News | 1 Comment
Def Poetry - Australia represent

For a while now I’ve been asking the Very Good audience to help me out with a question… Where the poets at?

There is a growing hip hop community in Australia and New Zealand, and yet I don’t see a whole lot of poets on the scene. Well it turns out i’m just a busy kid who hasn’t opened his eyes to the right direction, and unfortunately the audience have been as unproductive as I have on this one.

So Thursday night I take one of the most art filled journeys I have ever experienced in one evening, kicking it off with a poetry break at Melbourne’s state library on Swanston St. Ok, so this evening was really amazing for me given that I was taken along to basically exactly what I want see the community getting behind. If I were to go through my head space on the evening, or describe exactly what I thought of each poet and performer on this evening, this article would be as long as my driveway, so lets have some of them speak for themselves, firstly with the man of the evening for me, Si

Si - Victoria’s Slam Poetry champion

So this next group just took me by surprise, because I haven’t ever actually seen and aboriginal rap crew, and so the first I have being one that had a positive message, and what seemed to be 3 extremely gentle, focused, strong Australian men, with a clear message of positivity, putting in work all around Australia… and I was just like… what the F&*^ – have I had my eyes closed or what?

Tjimba & The Yung Warriors feat Outlawz – For The People

So as if this wasn’t enough for one evening, there was another, and another, and another who took my eye on the evening, however the ‘Melbourne State Library’ website has been down for a few days now, so i’ll have to catch you up on an artist whom I think was called Miriahanga when it kicks back into action.

If your into Slam Poets, you can also check out Omar Musa who took out the Australian champs last year.

Or head along to one of these poetry nights in Melbourne at:

www.slv.vic.gov.au

…bs

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Cellphones are killing us – Trillion reports

Saturday, February 28th, 2009 | News | No Comments
Cellphones are killing us - Trillion reports

Yo people listen up…

If your one of these kids who are lucky enough to be rocking a cellphone (a.k.a mobile phone, 2way, ring a ding ding thing), then New Zealand conscious hip hop artist Trillion points out… maybe your not as lucky as you think?

Often bringing interesting pieces to the community, he delivers once again with this piece ‘Invisible hazards in the wireless age (The Cellphone Song)

Hmmmmmm … I use my cellphone all the time, and it heats up aswell which is now of more concern to me then ever. Ignorance is bliss, but information is power, so maybe i’ll turn to the land line in future.

If you’ve got a minute free make sure you check out his track ‘Wallpaper’ i’ve been hooked on lately too on myspace, another testament to Trillion being one of the finer producers in Australasia these days.

With messages packing heat

and banging beats

looks like another dope musician

from the kiwi streets

You can check out more of Trillion at:

www.myspace.com/trilli0n

…bs

Kia ora

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