Started in Year
Urthboy – from NSW. First solo release in 2004. He is founding member of the hip-hop group The Herd, and co-founder of the Elefant Traks record label.
Urthboy is a hip hop artist and music business manager from Australia.
Beginning in the late 90s, his first group Explanetary folded after one EP In On The Deal (2001).
Urthboy’s first solo album Distant Sense of Random Menace was released in 2004, but it was 2007’s The Signal that kicked things up a notch.
The first single We Get Around cracked the top 25 in triple j’s Hottest 100 while The Signal was hailed as “a classic” by Rolling Stone. It received two AIR Award nominations; a J Award nomination (Triple J’s Album of the Year award); and it was shortlisted in the prestigious Australian Music Prize (Best Album 2007).
Significantly, the album was licensed to Motivo Records (among a select few hip hop records from Australia ever licensed overseas) and released late 2007.
In addition to solo material, Urthboy is one of the main songwriters in The Herd, whose four albums The Herd (2001); An Elefant Never Forgets (2003); The Sun Never Sets (2005/06); and Summerland (2008) have seen them build a huge fanbase in Australia. They’ve sold out national tours, including major metropolitan theatres through to regional venues whilst accepting invitations to every major festival in the country. During this time they’ve won two AIR Awards; a top ten ARIA chart album; ARIA award nomination (Best Urban 2008) and a J Award.
Celebrating the government’s apology to the Stolen Generations in 2008, Urthboy worked with Getup to re-imagine the song From Little Things Big Things Grow, at Paul Kelly’s personal request. The song helped raise over $100,000 for Indigenous run health and education programs.
In 2009 Urthboy released his third solo album, Spitshine, dropped to great acclaim (read below) and two hugely successful tours (2009 and 2010) playing to over 20,000 people. Urthboy was shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize (one of the only artists ever nominated twice), won Best Urban Album at the Independent Music Awards and received an ARIA nomination.
In 2010 Urthboy embarked on his first European tour, playing some of the biggest hip hop festivals in the world (Splash, Germany and Open-Air Festival, Switzerland) as well as clubs shows in Germany, Denmark and England. Adding to that were shows in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
Urthboy is label manager of Elefant Traks, record label and boutique touring company, now with countless tours and almost 60 releases.
RAVE MAG “CEMENTS URTHBOY’S POSITION AS THE STRONGEST INDIVIDUAL FORCE IN AUSTRALIAN HIP HOP”
JMAG **** “URTHBOY IS A MASTERFUL COLLABORATOR.”
BEAT MAGAZINE “URTHBOY HIGHLIGHTS ALL THAT IS GOOD ABOUT HIP HOP.”
Appeared on Culture of Kings Vol. 2 Released in 2002
Urthboy is one of the few pioneers of Australian hip-hop whose most recent work is also his best, a huge accolade for someone who’s been a major player since the genre’s early days. Aided by consistently groundbreaking production, Urthy is renowned for writing incredibly poignant, personal and important rap songs; he’s at his best when writing about the people he loves, the causes he believes in.His recent solo albums have seen him applying his unrivaled story-telling abilities to others’ tales – Urthboy has a gift for taking untold narratives and pivotal historical moments and turning them into beautiful music. This shift towards looking increasingly outward for inspiration has cemented his spot as one of the greats.
“Hip hop is a black culture; we’ve embraced it wholeheartedly and used it to tell (predominantly white) modern Australian stories… We need to get over the idea that Indigenous music is solely from the Northern Territory and sounds like Gurrumul. The biggest population of Indigenous Aussies can be found in Sydney and their kids are growing up wanting to be Snoop Dogg. The voices are getting louder but the steps they need to take aren’t always clear or encouraged”
Sydney NSW, Australia