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With Australian hip-hop starting to make a real global impact, the latest name to lead the charge comes courtesy of Phi11a – a Sydney rapper who combines powerful, dirty and thought-provoking lyrics, with an eclectic style and refreshing outlook.
Raised in Sydney’s Inner-West, Phi11a’s family always struggled to stay afloat. While moving from house to house, nowhere really felt like home. His mother left the family behind when he was just 6-years old. It had a profound effect on him as an individual while his dad ended up taking the responsibility for Phi11a and his brother’s upbringing. Making things harder, his brother technically died for 11 minutes during open heart surgery, leading to prolonged brain damage. (This is where the 11 originates in his name).
Having been introduced to the world of music by his father at a young age, and consuming everything from punk to hardcore rap. Phi11a spent years grinding as an independent artist on the local Sydney circuit. His hustle and work ethic saw him win over a dedicated set of fans and go on to be signed to the Australian arm of legendary rap imprint, Def Jam Recordings.
In 2019, Phi11a announced himself with his first official single ‘Overdose’, produced by Atlanta heavyweight Supah Mario (Drake, Young Thug). Shortly after his debut release, Phi11a followed up with a surprise collaborative mixtape with Jimmy Duval (XXXTentacion, Lil Pump, Rich The Kid). The records were praised by the likes of Triple J, Acclaim and even received shout outs by the likes of D12 and DMX.
The mixtape laid the blueprint for Phi11a’s second official single ‘Witness’ which featured emo-trap icon, Trippie Redd. The release went onto amass over 4m streams and receive praise from Clash Magazine, NME, Rolling Stone, TRVP, Mixtape Madness, Sniffers, Montreality, Lyrical Lemonade and the biggest hip-hop blog on Instagram, RapTV.
In under 2 years, Phi11a has solidified himself as one of the most exciting hip-hop voices to come out of Australia. His third single ‘Dirty Dancer’ was co-produced by super-producer Scott Storch (Beyonce, Dr. Dre, Roddy Rich, Megan Thee Stallion) and garnered attention from the likes of No Jumper, DJ Akademiks and Our Generation Music, to name a small few. To close out the year, Acclaim Magazine nominated Phi11a as one of their '2020 All-Stars’ Finalists’.
Since then, Phi11a has dropped records alongside Australian drill artist MLBRN, superstar Stan Walker, and sold out his first headline tour. Phi11a’s live performances continue to populate. He made his festival debut at Yours & Owls, playing to 15K people, and then rocked the stage at Ability Fest as a guest performer, alongside What So Not. Phi11a has already lined up his next festival set at Lunar Electric and his second headline tour for this year.
Phi11a’s most recent singles “IDKU” and “Life in Reverse” already have received massive support from influential tastemakers worldwide. “IDKU” was picked up by TripleJ and featured as Track of the Day, while “Life in Reverse” (produced by Big Gigantic) was featured on Soundcloud’s Discover homepage as a Soundcloud Exclusive. The emerging artist further cements himself into this scene with his patented flow and untouchable energy that few can hold a candle to.