Entertainment, Music & Gigs

5 Refugee Musos Making It In Oz

As Australians we are granted many opportunities that people from other nations can only dream of. Though our current stance on immigration is jaded at best, we have found 5 artists who now call Australia home and take great solace in their craft.

#1 Lior

Having arrived in Australia at the tender age of 10, Lior is an independent singer-songwriter that offers simple acoustics tying beautiful melodies in with a sonorous voice. Throughout his musical career Lior has achieved nominations for ARIA and J awards, highlighting his musical prowess. The charm to Lior’s music is his ability to convey dual feelings of vulnerability and strength in a simple lyrical manner. If you want to check out Lior adapt a classic, be sure to check his cover of It’s Only Natural originally by Crowded House.

#2 Israel Cruz

Originally from the Philippines, Israel Cruz is an R&B artist who has worked with the likes of Stan Walker. Despite his rocky career, Israel Cruz is committed to his craft, and through that has been nominated for countless awards across MTV, ARIA and APRA. If you’re looking for clean beats and vocals that are bound to hype you up, Israel Cruz will serve as a great companion. Hard Right Now provides apt social commentary on the struggles of Australia’s marginalised, all under the guise of a catchy pop track.

#3 Diafrix

Having been on the scene for more than 10 years, MC Momo and MC Azmarino make up the hip-hop duo Diafrix. Though originally African refugees, these two musicians have sought to tackle the Australian music scene with their high-energy performances, and incredible charisma. Though poised as Australian musicians, Diafrix draw influence from vintage reggae, neo-soul, 90’s NYC rap and deep house to provide slick hip-hop with an international spin. Their sophomore release Pocket Full of Dreams is a great representation of all these influences along with guest appearances from a slew of industry heavyweights.

#4 Sampa The Great

Born in Zambia and raised in Botswana, Sampa The Great combines her passion for hip-hop with lyrical consciousness, touching on themes of social and political disparity. Using her music as a tool to inspire people and prompt change, Sampa The Great places a strong emphasis on her production and flow to ensure her messaging is on point. Having recently opened for Kendrick Lamar and collaborated with Australia’s own Urthboy, Sampa The Great is bound to make a lasting impact on the scene.  Check out Blue Rose for a tightly produced track with fast-paced, poetic vocals.

#5 Sako Dermenjian

Both a Syrian musician and refugee, Sako Dermenjian learnt classical guitar to escape the harsh realities of his surroundings. Now situated in Wollongong, NSW, Sako Dermenjian is highly active in the local scene, with a recent performance at TEDx Wollongong ensuring that he will remain prevalent for the foreseeable future. Throughout his music, you will witness the fine craft of classical guitar in action. Playing with intimate precision and impeccable timing that would put other musicians to shame. Listen to his rendition of Master of Darbukka and surely you’ll appreciate the talent behind this musician.

These are only a fraction of the talent that has come into Australia; we have the ability to show how accommodating the Australian spirit is by nurturing more talent like the artists mentioned above.

Image source: Howland Echoes.

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Easy going Sydneysider who has a deep infatuation with all that is music. Most weekends you can find me checking out a local gig or chilling out with a new album I've picked up. I'm always down to hear about what people love listening.

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