KCRW’s Global Beat is a series highlighting emerging artists from around the world. Our journey began in Australia with KCRW DJ Raul Campos in conversation with Australian music curator Andrew Khedoori. In this round of bonus episodes, our exploration continues with guest curators thanks to the support of the Australian Consulate in LA.
The second season of Global Beat is just around the corner — stay tuned for the big reveal of our next sonic destination. Till then, dig in, because we’re rolling out some piping hot Aussie Appetizers.
Join Campos as he welcomes Sosefina Fuamoli — freelance journalist and host of Australia’s Triple R radio show Window Seat — to share some of the most ear-tingling sounds in Australian hip-hop and R&B.
Raised in Samoan households in the western suburbs of Sydney and New Zealand, the trio of rappers LKGD, SVNO, and Jazz NOBDI met in 2011 and soon joined forces as Planet Vegeta.
The group has been popping off for about four or five years, which Fuamoli credits to a dub-infused, ‘90s/‘00s-referencing sound that also holds space for its members’ identities to shine.
“Hip-hop is pop culture, it’s the mainstream, so to have that sense of identity really strong… I feel like that's an impressive feat in itself,” Fuamoli says.
Elsy Wameyo - “Hunger”
“Elsy’s is a really special voice that I feel only comes around in Australian music every so often,” Fuamoli says of the Kenyan born, Adelaide-based Wameyo. “When she drops music, people tend to listen in the same way that people have gravitated towards Sampa The Great.”
Fuamoli has long kept an eye on Wameyo, watching her evolve from a teenager gigging around town into an artist whose music she describes as “uncompromised in its lyricism and musicality.”
“To see how she's really grown into this strong performer gives me a little bit of pride, even though I've got nothing to do with it,” Fuamoli says.
Tanzanian native Beckah Amani’s rich, soothing voice became a salve for many Australians through the most brutal periods of COVID lockdowns, which Fuamoli spotlights on the standout jam “I Don’t Know Why I Don’t Leave You.”
“This track is vibrant, and it shows the brightness to her personality,” she says. “It really speaks to the warmth of her tone, everything about her comes across so beautifully on this track.”
Amani is making a particular splash in the UK market, where Fuamoli says the artist is finding resonance with fans of artists like Little Simz.
“Even though Becca is more in the R&B field, you can really hear those contemporary sorts of jazzy influences in there, which I feel is really cool,” she says.