KAHUKX CONCLUDES BREAKOUT YEAR WITH ‘NOTHING TO SOMETHING’ EP
As the fastest rising name in the Australian rap scene, Eora/Sydney based artist KAHUKX completes his freshman year with debut EP Nothing To Something.
January 2nd, 2022. Almost every A&R, journalist, and radio station host was on holiday when, at the time, relatively unknown rapper KAHUKX suddenly cut their vacation short. In front of Sydney’s iconic harbour landmarks, the masked artist quickly established himself as 2022’s one to watch with his first single ‘Due Time’.
Lamenting on the price of success over a sampled instrumental of Billie Eilish and Khalid’s ‘lovely’, he offered a unique and vulnerable approach in an otherwise largely oversaturated drill scene. Although KAHUKX didn’t even initially like his song, and still downplays its greatness today (despite being his best performing track), it’s wild to think ‘Due Time’ was recorded in his second-ever studio session.
While it served as the 18-year-old’s introduction for most people, his passion for the craft sparked much earlier – freestyling and rap battling with mates in a backyard shed to eventually winning his first studio session from an open verse challenge by Shely210.
“I’d definitely say it started from that shed in Botany.”– KAHUKX (2023).
His featureless debut project spans eight tracks, including previous releases ‘Turn Me Up’ and ‘FAKE’, with production from ProdByNoice, CorMill, Mason X Beats, SHYY BEATS, Jace Lish, PAX ON THE BEAT, ProdByZahren, and Yoshi. Narrating his “highest highs and lowest lows” since bursting onto the scene, Nothing To Something explores lessons learned on loyalty, privacy, and loss.
On mostly sample-heavy instrumentals of Jersey and dark drill, KAHUKX offers bilingual bars and heartfelt lyricism via his infectious cadence. Whether it’s gritty storytelling or gripping sonics, the Sydney rapper enchants listeners with his hunger for success through stories of his upbringing and rise to fame. As an almost prophetic promise to himself, KAHUKX had coined his EP title long before his start in music.
“I’ve been rolling with people of influence already like before the music stuff and I see how they get approached, and it’s just not my cup of tea.”– KAHUKX (2023).
Hip-hop’s affinity with anonymity is short-lived in comparison to its pop or electronica counterparts, with acts like Daft Punk, Marshmello, and Sia, all utilising the allure of mystery in their art. The late rapper MF DOOM undoubtedly laid the blueprint for masked emcees, and the trend is becoming more and more popular, particularly in the UK drill scene where remaining anonymous is closely tied to self-preservation.
In the case of KAHUKX, the choice of anonymity is a calculated move, intended to help maintain a private life, while simultaneously allowing his talent alone to be at the forefront of any discussion. While he recognises the ceiling a masked alias might reach, a rebrand of removing the balaclava is still a while away.
When speaking to KAHUKX on his ascension in the last 12 months or so, he almost exclusively speaks in first-person pronouns to credit the team of support around him. Like an MMA fighter, being a rapper is an individual sport. Although, as any great fighter or rapper will tell you – it takes an army of people to be successful. Not to mention his management team at AURA Entertainment, one person who has been integral to KAHUKX’s fight is videographer and director, Slippn.
Having shot for A.GIRL, Tommy Gunn, and more, the Sydney-based high-demand creative is the mastermind behind all of his music videos, even featured tracks like the ARIA-nominated ‘MBAPPE’ by Day1. Their partnership began out of a mutual appreciation for each other’s art and has now evolved into an effortless collaborative process built on trust and tireless work ethic.
Celebrating the EP’s release in May, KAHUKX embarked on his first ever national tour last month. Including his upcoming Perth show on Friday, the Nothing To Something tour visits six states across eight headline shows in Newcastle, Melbourne, Canberra and more.
“It’s crazy knowing that fans from different cities, like cities I haven’t even gone to, are coming out and showing love.”– KAHUKX (2023).
Showcasing not only his support from fans but artists too, his hometown performance at Oxford Art Factory brought out a slew of Sydney favourites including Day1, DSP, Jaecy, OpenTillL8, Shely210, SheWantSev, and Dibz. While few local artists of today are able to tour the country and sell out almost every show, even fewer can say that their show included a marriage proposal.
Having entered his sophomore year, KAHUKX has no plans on slowing down the hype any time soon. With the Australian market in the palm of his hands, he plans to roll out a few more domestic hits and collaborations before breaching overseas markets and linking with UK producers and artists. Promising new sounds and surprising features in his future releases, KAHUKX remains Australia’s top name as one to watch.