This year was an extremely special year for Australian music and this list reflects the new and most exciting scenes coming from emerging from this country.
Skeleten - No Drones In The Afterlife
Yibby & Chub.e - Syd City
Scruffs & Savage The Girl - Wonderful Day
Kavi - D-TRIPLE-U
BOY SODA - 3 Little Piggies feat. Jordan Dennis & Charbel
Gold Fang - Wet
Club Angel - Control Dem
Vv Pete, UTILITY & Cassius Select - Frauds
Beckah Amani - I Don’t Know Why I Love You
Shanae - illusions
10. Chanel Loren - Playlist
Originally hailing from South East London before moving to Sydney, Chanel Loren has been welcomed into Australia’s music scene with open arms. Her debut single and video Playlist is a unique fusion of alternative R&B, moulding together influences from UK Garage and indie to create an infectious, dance worthy track. Art is at its most beautiful when you can feel the soul of the artist oozing into the track, and straight after hearing Playlist, we felt deeply in touch with the artistic messaging and potential of Chanel Loren.
9. PRICIE - Big Girls
PRICIE’s Big Girls is a dance floor anthem. The track embraces a message of empowerment, encouraging people of all genders and ages to, first and foremost, show up for themselves. The track is taken from her debut EP, IT’S PRICIE, and features a gorgeous, bouncing uptempo beat, quickly hitting, infectious rap bars and a beautiful hook.
8. Human Movement - House Check feat. Big Skeez
Earlier this year, Human Movement combined with Big Skeez to release the strongest track of his career to date, House Check. House Check sees Human Movement immersed in the world of UKG in its purest form, accompanied by one of the brightest and most hyped MC’s in the city. His production elevates to full throttle as Big Skeez lays down one of his best deliveries to date, rapping ferociously over booming percussion, a mighty bassline and laser-tinted synths.
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7. PANIA - Tiki
West Melbourne alt-R&B artist PANIA has been one of the standout breakthrough artists of 2022. Her brand of drill infused, ultra-moody groove dependent R&B has taken her to the upper echelons of the genre in just a few years. Tiki began her ascension in 2022, the first of a string of singles which led to the release of her eventual EP, burnt ur clothes & changed the addy.
6. Sampa The Great - Let Me Be Great feat. Angélique Kidjo
ARIA-Award Winning Zambian born Botswana raised poet and rapper Sampa The Great released her long awaited sophomore album As Above, So Below in 2022. The record is inspired by a move back to Zambia from Sampa, where she reignited her creativity and her pursuit of self discovery. The album’s closer, Let Me Great, exemplifies the record’s message perfectly, one where Sampa desire’s to create without the external pressure of expectation. Sampa The Great knows she's great, now she demands to be allowed to be great without being pigeonholed.
5. Ashli - Only One
When New Jersey Born Western Sydney based singer and songwriter Ashli has released her debut single, Only One, we couldn’t help but think it was one of the most beautiful Australian hooks ever written. The track draws on her Jamaican-Chilean heritage and exists in the world of pop, soul, and R&B. Questioning new love and reciprocity, poppy hooks combine sweetly with layered R&B production.
4. Agung Mango & Genesis Owusu - GUAP POP
Agung Mango has had an incredible 2022, releasing his most polished body of work to date in the form of MAN ON THE GO. Key takeaway from the project is GUAP POP alongside six-time ARIA Award winner Genesis Owusu. The track draws heavily on experimental hip hop, alternative R&B and jazz influences, laying the perfect platform for Agung Mango to share the trials and tribulations of chasing your dreams as an artist. GUAP POP is a sonic documentation of those troubles while also reflecting on them as a means to an end, a means that is defined by dedication and hunger that is required to thrive and survive as an artist genius.
3. Tasman Keith - TREAD LIGHT
If we had an artist of the year category, we’d hand it straight over to Tasman Keith for his brilliant debut album, A Colour Undone. The album is a groundbreaking creative masterpiece that ebbs and flows between brash confidence, love, introspection and an eventual shed of ego. The album’s closer, TREAD LIGHT, is one of the most important pieces of music released in so-called Australia as Keith reflects on his life to this exact moment and how his trauma, success and survival creates a path for his future.
2. dameeeela - The Shake Up ft. Tjaka
dameeeela has long time been a queen of underground dance music in so called Australia. She's a multi-hyphenate DJ, producer, radio host and Yuggera woman, establishing herself as one of Meanjin's most in-demand selectors. This year marked a moment in local dance music, a changing of the guard, the beginning of an artist that is set to take over the world,with the release of her debut single, The Shake Up with Tjaka. It channels emotive classics of Detroit house pioneers,alongside catchy melodies and a decontextualisation of her culture, rhythms and melodies of her past. It reflects her intrinsic connection to Indigenous cultures past and present, a connection that should be known to all so called Australians of all backgrounds.
1. SOLLYY & Zion Garcia - Apply The Pressure
SOLLYY has long been known as one of Australia’s best kept production secrets, but the producer and radio host extraordinaire has made 2022 his year to emerge from the shadows, collaborating with a plethora of artists and releasing his very own single, APPLY THE PRESSURE, alongside soon to be one of Australia's biggest rappers, Zion Garcia. The track is the perfect snapshot of what this year of Australian music has been, reflecting the emergence of new underground cultures, communities and sounds emerging from the cultural hotbed of our biggest city.