AUD’$ POWER RANKINGS: AUS ARTISTS IN MARCH 2023
Introducing the official AUD’$ Power Rankings. In a similar manner to outlets covering the NBA or NFL, this is a monthly opportunity to measure the momentum of artists within our scene. Artists are assessed by the AUD’$ editorial team against five key selection criteria; activity, impact, quality, metrics, and originality – from this, the list of Top 10 artists each month will be made public.
This is an internal, subjective measure intended to highlight recent success and significant achievements by artists in the AU. As we have done since day one, AUD’$ will continue to provide a platform and innovate new ways to generate discussion amongst our community and to share in the richness of artistic talent.
P stand for Power Rankings. From the ARIA Awards Red Carpet, to a Times Square Billboard, and the NGV Gala, it seems like PANIA has been EVERYWHERE of late. Combine her public appearances with some DSP playlist covers and a national tour support for Kehlani, and you begin to understand the groundswell building around the R&B talent. A steady stream of music highlighted by ‘P STANDS 4 PLAYA’, and a current UK adventure means she has the momentum to continue climbing.
The growth displayed by Nooky in recent years has been formidable. In all departments. The future mayor of Nowra became the inaugural host of Blak Out on Triple J in mid-2021 and went on to found the WE ARE WARRIORS organisation not long after, all the while releasing cuts like ‘Run Dingo‘. The Yuin emcee has started 2023 in major fashion with his new single ‘We Are Warriors’ launching alongside the ‘Through The Fire’ documentary movie, and sold-out Blak Powerhouse mini-festival; all of which was announced on national breakfast television. Moves.
Riding high off a year in which he released the acclaimed full-length AUSSIE BLACKSTAR, three singles as part of the BBGB collective, and showcased it all in a momentous show at the Sydney Opera House, domestic mainstay BLESSED recently delivered us ‘Heya’. Produced by Matt Corby, and shot in his native Ghana, the new single was unveiled while on tour nationally with UK sensation Knucks. The man formerly known as Miracle shows no signs of slowing down.
1300 took the Australian music industry by storm in 2022. The Korean rap outfit from Sydney released their debut album Foreign Language in April which quickly saw them adorn playlist covers and rotation around the country, as well as a Netflix sync placement. Less than ten weeks into the new year and the 5-piece outfit have already linked with Kwame for the ‘Steve Jobs’ single and video, while blessing fans with a special Valentine’s Day EP titled ‘<3’. If they get a quarter as much traction in Asia as they have locally, then an AUD’$ Power Rankings podium spot beckons.
6. GENESIS OWUSU
There is nothing Genesis Owusu can’t do. His debut album Smiling With No Teeth swept the ARIA Awards in 2021 and spawned a tour across several continents in 2022 including festival shows at Lollapalooza, Osheaga, Primavera Sounds, and more. October single ‘Get Inspired’ recently received a music video as well as becoming the soundtrack for the new global Apple Fitness+ campaign, while Owusu found himself performing with the Red Bull Symphonic Orchestra. All before he tours the USA with Paramore and Bloc Party later this year.
5. BABYFACE MAL
Melbourne-based artist Babyface Mal may have just had a better 2022 than anyone else: two EPs, his biggest single to date, and countless collaborations including Mason Dane, Nerve and Cult Shotta. Staying active in the new year, he featured on JAY1‘s ‘Loose (Australian Remix)’ alongside Day1, and has already released his first single ‘Bubblin Up (Get Fizzy)’. Constantly evolving and always entertaining, Mal is one of the leading forces in today’s scene.
There’s no denying the Mount Druitt group’s impact on the Australian scene in the last five years. When ONEFOUR drop, the whole country listens. Although their last years’ releases were comparatively lackluster, ‘COMMAS’ featuring CG not only marks a return to form for the group but also sees Lekks return from a three-year hiatus. With their names on festival lineups and their final incarcerated member Celly eligible for release later this year, ONEFOUR are back in full force.
3. AY HUNCHO
Ay Huncho has been a prominent figure in the scene for some time now but 2022 saw his status skyrocket. The Merrylands-raised rapper proved he can hold it down on his own through releases like Enemy of the State and ‘Up The Score’. Although, that didn’t stop his collaborative knack – dropping a posse cut with NASA NOVA, ENZO, Hooligan Skinny and Hooks, as well as his joint EP with NASA. Keeping that momentum flowing, he’s released ‘Designer Love’ alongside Biordi Music label mate ALYSSA and crossed international waters with recent collaborations with wewantwraiths and KTM Henny.
2. SAMPA THE GREAT
The influence of Sampa The Great doesn’t get celebrated enough. As one of the first Australian artists to wholeheartedly showcase their heritage, she’s become a powerful and leading voice for the African diaspora. Recorded in her homeland of Zambia, the 2022 album As Above, So Below includes elements of zamrock and polyrhythmic percussion, while featuring Joey Bada$$, Denzel Curry, Mwanjé, Kojey Radical, Angélique Kidjo and more. Touring relentlessly off the back of its release, Sampa’s first appearance this year arrives on Petite Noir‘s ‘Blurry’.
1. THE KID LAROI
Five years on since ‘Blessings‘ and The Kid LAROI is well and truly on top of the world. Following on from 2022’s releases ‘Thousand Miles’ and ‘Paris to Tokyo’ alongside Fivio Foreign, the 19-year-old global megastar is now amidst the build-up to his highly-anticipated sophomore album titled The First Time. He started 2023 by hosting a Fortnite concert, and has since shared four new singles including the project’s intro, ‘Love Again‘, ‘Kids Are Growing Up (Part 1)’, and his latest release ‘I GUESS IT’S LOVE’.