Wednesday, July 18, 2012

On A Friday

Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach, Sydney
13 July 2012

Maybe because it was Friday the 13th and the third one for 2012, everyone decided to lay low and not risk some witchy, devilish shit happening at a gig. That must be why the only hip hop gig I could find on that night was Sky'High's second Sydney album launch. Every Friday that falls on the 13th I claim as my own, especially in July. The day I was born, unlucky for some, was on a Friday, the 13th day of the month of July. Now I've definitely tried to lie to some about the year, but if you really want to know just go read the book by George Orwell.

Permanent marker maybe?
I commemorated the day by getting it inked on my arm permanently, so now I'm a real life lucky charm. And if you know me, then you know that if I'm in your life you really are lucky.  That's because I live life the way I want it to be.  I seek out all the good things and I attract them to me.  So people could say that I'm living the dream. If you know how to dream than you know what I mean.

So I thought I'd give this Sky'High gig a try, after very mixed thoughts on her from several people that I have asked. Elefant Traks of course is right behind her, and when asked Adit spoke very enthusiastically about her, but most of my friends haven't been too impressed with lyrics, beats, or her attitude so far. I first heard of her on Triple J early this year which was my first taste of the “Hoodie and Nikes” song, which I really like.  Embarrassingly enough at first I thought she was a young boy by the way she sounded.  At first that really intrigued me because I thought "hold on, who is this 10 year old on triple J?"  But even better was finding out that it was a chick, because there aren't a lot of female rappers on the scene holding it down on their own. She did an interview with Hai on the Hip Hop show before she went on tour with 360, and talked about her new album coming up later in the year. I thought she seemed really sweet and shy, and that definitely got me interested, I wanted to know more.

a couple of cool kids I know
I saw her perform earlier this year opening for The Herd. Basically all of Elefant Traks was there to show their support.  There's a bit of controversy about why Elefant Traks would sign an artist so different to their normal aesthetic.  The answer is complex and maybe the benefits won't come to fruition straight away but rather incubated like an egg.  It's like they took this little newborn chick under their generous and protective wing and introduced her as part of the scene. But she's no baby chick, innocent and wide eyed. She's like a crazy owl: shifty eyed and alive at night time. Scoping out the scene and then swooping down to swiftly snatch her prey.    

Although it might seem like there's some arrogance rooted in her name, it's really just a clever play on her actual name, Skhai. You might be put off by the fact that she rocks sunnies inside at night, wears a frown, screams into the mike, and yells at the crowd. But at least she's herself, she's not afraid to be a little angry. And we shouldn't put her down because it's that type of raging that hip hop was founded on in the first place. And in stark contrast to all that aggressive and negative energy, if you're lucky enough for her to drop her sunnies and smile at you, you'll be all but stunned by the innocence displayed in her face. Which goes to show that, maybe it's not quite all an act, but but a carefully constructed tough outer mask that she has worked most of her life to maintain.

I spot a reoccurring theme
This genre of music, always came out of a desperate need to make sense of a world that doesn't make sense at all. The most notorious rappers came out of the darkest ghettos of New York and LA. Yet, it evolved to be something so much more that. The fact that Australian hip hop exists despite that overall absence of such harsh and dangerous living conditions, is testimony to the fact that you don't have to have had a really hard life to make good music. Everyone suffers in their own way, emotional pain can penetrate the psyche of someone even with the most seemingly carefree lifestyle. But someone who has actually seen hell comes back completely changed. Therefore I don't think we should write off Sky'High easily because it is known that her childhood consisted of being witness to some of the most unsavory neighbourhoods and activities that Sydney boasts. So even if she hasn't completely come into her musical groove yet, she's comfortable with herself and her point of view alone is so unique that everyone should take note.

Sky checking out my tat
As for the gig itself, it was a huge let down. The choice of venue (come on who goes to see hip hop all the way out in Bondi? Put her in Newtown for god's sake), the lack of promotion (I only saw it on Elefant Traks site), and the crowd (lack of, and lack of participation from those that were there) all contributed to a huge flop of a night. But it wasn't all bad. She has a stage presence like no other, she's definitely comfortable with who she is. She is unique and brings something completely different to the Australian hip hop scene. And I think because of this, and because of her record label backing she will come into her own and the country will start to see her as the star that she already believes that she is. If the event had been promoted better and the crowd was getting into it, I believe the show could have been a hit. But like I've said before, the crowd really makes the show. If the artist is up there giving their all and the crowd is giving nothing back, then the night will be a flop, just by default.

fuck the world
Bottom Line: She's an aggressive chick, with energy and edge, doing it on her own with her mate Emily Blake of course, an amazing singer, to back her up live. A new piece to this hip hop puzzle that we haven't seen yet. I think she will go far. Then we'll be saying, “yeah I was at this gig in Bondi ages ago, and there was no one there, it was crazy...”

"Look At Me Now" off the Your Highness EP

Latest Video: "Wake Up" featuring New Zealand rapper David Dallas

Sky'High on facebook
Sky'High merchandise- elefant traks
"Your Highness" EP FREE DOWNLOAD

Buy Sky'High's first full length album Forever Sky'High through Elefant Traks now.

Tweet Me: @iamskyhigh

Want to know more about Skhai's life and background?
Watch this mini documentary series....
Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

Good night kiddies! Thanks for tuning in!
Catch you on the flip side, 
<3 <3 <3 Jen <3 <3 <3 

no rest for the wicked!

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