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LIVE REVIEW - Arno Faraji @ Black Bear Lodge

Photo: William Sinclair

Australian hip-hop is arguably the most exciting it has ever been.

Carmouflage Rose is making Afrobeats influenced rap out of Brisbane. ONEFOUR is making hardened drill music out of western Sydney. Chillinit is reinventing “skip-hop” out of Melbourne. Arno Faraji is making upbeat hook driven rap out of Perth. It is an exciting time for Australian hip-hop and a great time to support an Australian hip-hop artist such as Faraji at a live show.

Faraji played his first headline show in Brisbane at the Black Bear Lodge. He was opened by Shyne2Tymz, Brisbane’s resident Culture Kings DJ, and DVNA. DVNA is a Gold Coast singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist. She put on a short captivating set that featured acoustic interludes, electronic breakdowns and a charming Flume cover. Her energy was undeniable but it is a shame that the crowd did not return that energy in turn. To conclude her set, DVNA danced into the crowd only to be met with a crowd full of people with hands in pockets, too stiff to move.

Before Faraji took the stage, his DJ made a short introduction. No fanfare, no contrived DJ set featuring the hits from Spotify’s Rap Caviar to manufacture energy out of the crowd. Straight to the point. The rapper came out and launched straight into his first song. Faraji is a lively figure on stage. He is animated and takes great pleasure in crowd interaction. His technical skills are clear, but his performance could improve by relying less on playback vocals during hooks.

Faraji played the hits, new material and a cover of the theme song to Phineas and Ferb.

The hits included ‘TREE’X’, ‘Destiny’s’ and ‘Bless (What It’s Like)’. These tracks were clear crowd favourites and showcased the rapper’s strengths. A nimble energetic flow that always finds its pocket.

The new material included two unreleased songs that pushed the rapper past his “allotted time”. Each features trap flavoured instrumentals - rattling hi hats, and booming 808s, you know the sound - that are sure to have wide appeal. They both received a positive reception and showcase a trendy modern direction for the young artist.

As for the Phineas and Ferb cover, let’s just say that I might be too old to appreciate some things in life.

Check out the gallery here



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