Western Sydney has birthed some of Australia's best working musicians, from Kwame to NASHO to L-FRESH the Lion. It's quickly becoming one of the country's major cultural hubs, where young musicians and visual artists are meeting and creating and thriving together. This week, the City of Parramatta plays host to Parramatta Lanes, a celebration of all the incredible things happening in New South Wales' new major hub. There's plenty of great music on the lineup—including a night curated by Noisey—but the program's massive, so we've put together a list of our favourite acts to check out at this week's festival.
Filipino/First Nations MC Dobby has been making waves in the New South Wales hip-hop scene for his livewire raps and kinetic live performance. This year's singles "Peregrine" and "My Mind" have showcased the best of Dobby—sharp-as-a-tack lyrics, effortless charisma, and impeccable hooks. With new music surely on the way, Dobby's Parramatta lanes set is the perfect opportunity to catch the young maestro before he blows up. Catch Dobby on Wednesday at Aird Street.
Marcus Whale is headlining Noisey's night of programming at Parramatta Lanes, and it's sure to be excellent. The Sydney-based multi-disciplinarian has taken a lot of guises in the past few years—working as part of pop duo Collarbones, in electronic crew BV, and guesting with other artists—and his solo work is an integral part of his art-making. 2016's Inland Sea, produced by HTRK's Nigel Yang, is a staple of Australia's electronic music canon, and last year's collaborations with HTMLFlowers helped build Whale's edifice. Marcus is playing the Noisey night of programming on Aird Street. Details here.
DJ Levins became an instant legend the moment he dropped Justin Bieber's "Sorry" at Meredith Music Festival 2015 and marked himself as the most controversial Meredith artist in years. Parramatta Lanes probably won't be as spicy, but you can be sure that it'll be just as fun, at the very least. Catch Levins while you grab a bite to eat on Horwood Place.
MANA DJs (Heli x Serwah)
Look, we'll be completely honest with you: we wish MANA were playing a live set on our Parramatta Lanes stage. They're not; they're a bit too loud, wild and raw for the hip-hop focussed Aird St. Instead, Heli and Serwah from MANA and Nasho will be spinning their favourite RnB and hip-hop tracks to warm up Aird St for Marcus Whale, Dinosaur City DJs and Gusher Magazine DJs. And honestly, if there's one thing that might live up to a MANA live set, it's probably a fun-as-hell MANA DJ set.
If an open-air dance is more your thing, check out Adi Toohey playing the Red Bull rooftop on Eat Street. The Sydney-based selector plays a fine mix of house, disco and techno, and if the weather's good you can be sure to have a good time. If not, just grab a bite to eat and enjoy the soundtrack—it'll be good regardless. Catch Adi Toohey on Wednesday.
Noisey @ Parramatta Lanes
For Friday night at Aird St, we've programmed a bunch of our favourite selectors and musicians to take you through to the evening. Beginning with MANA DJs Heli & Serwah, you'll also be treated to a pop and hip-hop DJ set from Juliette and Isabella of Gusher Magazine, as well as a hip-hop and electronic influenced set from Cody and Jordanne, of Dinosaur City Records. With a headlining live set from Marcus Whale, it'll be a night of forward-thinking, exciting performance and music. Grab details here.
That's just the beginning of the Parramatta Lanes lineup. Find info for the rest of the incredible music, food, art and performance here.