Meet the Locals connects with the hip-hop, country, heavy music and jazz scenes

Tuesday, 19 Nov 2019

Meet the Locals keeps on keepin' on, and the latest round of meet-ups has an emphasis on genre: hip-hop, country, jazz and heavy music.

Upcoming events:
Hip-Hop (Darwin)
21 Nov 

Jazz (Melbourne)
25 Nov

Hip-Hop (Sydney) (waitlist)
26 Nov

Hip-Hop (Perth)
3 Dec

A few of our go-to local industry who are participating in the events have shared their tips on how to break into the genre.


Matt Thomson, Niche Productions

What’s connecting with hip-hop fans currently?

Seeing a massive surge in Hip-Hop coming out of Western Sydney which is really exciting, Australian artists making music for fans across the globe.

What are the main sources for discovering new hip-hop music? Where should artists be pitching their music?

Word of mouth is always going to be the best way to discover new music but I find DSP’s and publications like AUD$ and Filter Zine are great too.

Any local sources for hip-hop artists looking to develop their songwriting, production, live show?

Connecting with other artists. Doesn’t have to be in the same lane but the exchange of ideas is always going to be extra powerful.

What are some hot spots around Australia (or your state, local community) for hip-hop – to launch new music, play gigs, connect with others?

AUD$, Filter Zine, FBi Radio - In regards to releasing new music, DIY seems to be catching the most attention, ONEFOUR, Hooligan Hefs, Hp Boyz etc all doing it by themselves.

Kate Branson, Goodtime Marmalade Publicity

What’s connecting with hip-hop fans currently? 

Due to hip-hop's evolution and growth from its traditional 70/80’s genre, it is much more commercially consumable due to its huge range of subgenres. These subgenres make it more accessible for new audiences to dip their toes into hip-hop. A good example of this locally are acts like SUPEREGO who push the bounds of traditional hip hop through incorporating elements of experimentalism, jazz and electronica.

Not only has the constant evolution of hip-hop’s genre into subgenres made it more accessible but a lot of the machoism, hyper sexualization of women and braggadocious themes have been progressively phased out, providing  a more inclusive genre and something everyone can enjoy.

Funding tips?

WAM members can access a FAQs document and recording of the WAM Member Grant Writing Workshop held with Georgia Kennedy (WAM), a fundraising and development professional with ten years’ experience in the non-for-profit sector and; Mike Wafer (FY Media), a music journalist and editor since 1996, with years of experience freelance grant writing, who has also worked for various promoters, managers, media companies and artists over the years.

I highly recommend requesting this as there are a huge range of very good tips and tricks around applying for the Department of Local Government, Sports and Cultural Industries Contemporary Music Fund and Australia Council for the Arts Grants. I would also highly recommend ALWAYS talking to the grants officer about what you are applying for and submitting a draft for feedback.

What are the main sources for discovering new hip-hop music? Where should artists be pitching their music? 

Hip-hop artists and rappers are the most innovative at gorilla marketing themselves, I believe this is because it is so heavily based in the artists own personality and using that personality to turn social platforms to their advantage through thinking outside of the box of their normal use.

A few years ago Soundcloud Rap became a thing, and turned into a major platform for music discovery in, and releasing, hip-hop and rap music. Hip-hop artists and rappers usually have an incredibly well thought out image and social media presence and re-thinking the way you can utilise platforms to serve your image and campaign is the M.O. of hip-hop artists.

An example of a local artist trying to change things up and creating a strategy to help get their music out is Jaycee, who started a campaign to release a new song and video every week for six months: “I know the amount of work this is going to take, but I am ready! No one is going to put you on. It’s all on you. I’m building everything from the ground up. I don’t have a record deal, I’m as independent as they come. All I have is my self-belief, my loyal fan base the Young Team and my music.” - Jaycee

Places to contact to help get the word out of your new releases/campaign are Pilerats, Earmilk, GrungeCake, Hip Hop Wired, and The Word Is Bond plus many more, just google and you will find a whole world of hip-hop blogs. You should be submitting your music through AirIt, searching community radio stations nationally and what their hip-hop shows are and submitting to them directly. You should also be submitting your music to Hau Latukefu at triple j and uploading to triple j Unearthed.

Any local sources for hip-hop artists looking to develop their songwriting, production, live show? 

If you’re looking to develop your freestyle skills, follow, contact and attend one of Co-lab’s bi-monthly freestyle rap nights with a live band at The Moon in Northbridge. More info here:

Also, ask questions of people and other artists working in the same area, and find out what works/doesn’t work for them.

What are some hot spots around Australia (or your state, local community) for hip-hop – to launch new music, play gigs, connect with others?

Perth is quite lucky in that most venues love to have hip-hop nights and live hip-hop music. Particular venues I would recommend are Jack Rabbit Slims, Si Paradiso and Mojos Bar. I also recommend staying across what APRA AMCOS are doing in this space also. Again, I also recommend connecting in with Co-lab as a community supporting and developing hip-hop, and developing your own connections and networks through reaching out to people doing what you’re wanting to do.

Maxine Johns AKA Ms Hennessey - DJ, host of Koori Radio's Blueprint

What’s connecting with hip-hop fans currently? 

I would say that it would be a combination of reality TV shows and social media that would play the biggest connectors currently. Turn on any one of the TV networks from STAN to NETFLIX and beyond and you will find Hip-Hop fans being indulged in shows from rap competions to documentaries on infamous hip-hop songs and the artists behind them. Truth be told both very interesing to the mind and eye. On a social media tip, just the every day following of your favorite artist or creative is what truly feeds the current hip hop fan today, for vintage fans like myself, it will always be just about the music! 

What are the main sources for discovering emerging hip-hop music? Where should artists be pitching their music / what streams should they use?

As a Hip-Hop radio and club DJ I am always on the hunt for the next hit and have to say I love Spotify and the artists and genres it links you to. My music library has burst at the seams since utilising Spotify. I know TikTok is on a whole new level of music creativity for the younger generation or those daring enough to utilise its platform. I also stand by iTunes, Soundcloud, Tidal, Apple Music and 8tracks would be my top streaming picks and where artists should be looking to place their music on.

Any local resources or spaces for hip-hop artists looking to develop their songwriting, production, live show?

Hip-Hop in Australia has never been more alive than it is now, especially the incredible artists and talent emerging out of the South West Sydney region.

Independent artists wear that title like a badge of honour and it shows in their music production, writing techniques and live show performances. Working in spaces such as Campbelltown Arts Centre, Mt Druitt Street University and partaking in workshops during the 4 Elements Hip Hop Festival and Conference every March / April timeframe are certified spaces for artists to develop every aspect of the hip-hop artist skill set. Listening to radio shows on community radio stations such as Koori Radio, FBi Radio, Skid Row provide a wealth of knowledge given the varying array of cultures these stations shows exude.

What are some hot spots around Australia (or your state, local community) for hip hop – to launch new music, play gigs, connect with others?

Sydney is a little tough at the moment given the slow burn after the lock out laws were lifted. It's going to take a minute but it will start to cement new hip-hop venue roots before too long. I would say Oxford Art Factory in Sydney is a great space for Hip-Hop events, Hustle & Flow in Redfern is another great spot for music, The Carter Sydney is the epitome of high end hip hop clubbing, Ching-a-Lings on Oxford Street and the Red Rattler Theatre in Marrickville is great for new music / artist launches and gigs. 


Jason Millhouse, Owner/Producer/ Engineer/Videographer, Recordworks

Can you share a production or performance tip for someone just starting to play live?

Rehearse and dont read off an iPad: stay connected to your audience.

How can someone make the most of their limited time in a studio?

Rehearse and if it's a band listen to each other.

If you play an instrument e.g., guitar, make sure it has new strings and the intonation is good. 

If you're a vocalist get plenty of sleep and stayhydrated.

Drummers, practise to a metronome even if you don't intend to use a click track.

Have fun it will come across in the recording!

Dan Rennie, Station Manager, 98.9fm For the Best Country

What’s connecting with country music fans currently? 

I would say the crossover stuff (Lil Nas X, Dan + Shay)  is definelty helping but at the same time people like Luke Combs, Kasey Musgraves and Miranda Lambert with the hard edgy country sound are what's getting the fans going. In terms of live, CMC Rocks is the pinnacle of festivals in Australia at the moment.

How can a new artist get traction at radio?

Be proud of your product! Go and introduce yourself to radio stations, PD's, Dj's etc. Don't be afraid to try new things either...the cut-off jeans and dirt roads are a well worn path. Pun intended.

Can you share a production or performance tip for someone just starting to play live?

Be polished, rehearsed. Nothing is worse than watching a performer fumbling around and asking the band what they are doing next.

How can someone make the most of their limited time in a studio?

As above!

What are two promo essentials when launching new music?

Make sure your publicist is doing what they are meant to be. Time your single releases with live gigs and offer first plays to stations that target your demo.


Brynna McPherson – IMB presents

Funding Tips:

Familiarise yourself with the organisations that offer grants, when these applications open and close. Some of the larger organisations offering the more substantial grants for recording, touring ect will host information sessions to help you prepare your application. Tag along, take notes, make sure you actually send your application off because you won't get if you don't ask. 

What are the main sources for discovering heavy music?

I would have to say streaming services play probably the biggest role in new music discovery with "similar artist" features and play listing but at a local level, I discover new heavy artists through community radio, Aussie blogs such as Scenestr, Heavy Mag and most importantly, supporting my local live music scene by attending shows!

What cities/ regions are hot spots for heavy music?

Although heavy music is often considered a bit of a niche, the heavy scene in Australia is alive and well. Melbourne is always going to give you some love but if you are starting out and planning your first tour, do your research, find the bands that pull a crowd in that city and ask them to play with you then cross your fingers, hope for a successful show and new fan-base. 

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