New wave finding the soul of hip hop

NU WAVE Festival is a weekend of hip hop music, dance, competitions, and open mic.

The event also includes performances from a new wave of emerging professional artists 25 and under.

It’s on at YMCA HQ Leederville and is a drug and alcohol free event.

“Free entry allows the community to be part of it, and witness what hip hop is to youth culture; who just want to express themselves without prejudice,” musician and Perth Krump Movement (hip hop dance) pioneer Ian de Mello says.

• Ian de Mello with Nelson Mondlane, lead singer of Superego – and YMCA HQ art curator. Photo supplied


Hip hop has evolved since it polarised the music industry in the 70s, as young people flocked and their parents reeled in horror.

“Our goal is to emphasise the positive effect hip hop can have without the bad stuff,” de Mello says.

The genre has been used in a number of countries, including Australia, to promote literacy and help troubled teens find a voice to talk about problems.

“It’s just a tool to express, and live your best self, but a lot of people don’t understand that,” de Mello says.

The 26-year-old was drawn to hip hop as a youngster, and says the genre has changed over almost four decades.

“Instead of really raw beats a lot of young hip hop artists are more into low fi and chill hop.”

His music is a blend of traditional, hard edged hip hop, with a nod to the jazz and soul he grew up with.

“I love keeping the essence of where it started. But it’s a bit low fi, more jazz … which is what my music sounds like, but more funky.”

Sixteen-year-old Mali Jo$e is headlining the festival.

The Fremantle musician has been attracting plenty of attention for his hard-hitting verse and catchy music, earning airtime on triple j Unearthed,

“He’s a really good kid who wants to connect with people and spread feel-good music,” de Mello says.

Nu Wave Festival is on this Saturday and Sunday (July 6 and 7) noon to 10pm.

For the full line-up check the HQ Facebook event page.


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