Phoenix Central Park is honoured to work with Sydney-based label Trackwork in curating this collaboration between Kelman Duran, Vv Pete and Utility. Established by Utility in 2019, Trackwork exists as a platform for a unique, new wave of rap & innovative pop music.
Kelman Duran is a Dominican-American musician, visual artist, filmmaker, and scholar from Los Angeles. Born and raised in New York City, Duran graduated from LaGuardia and moved to South Korea before studying at CalArts. As a DJ and producer, he is mostly affiliated with LA’s Rail Up crew, HUNDEBISS Records in Milan, and Riobamba’s Apocalipsis label, who put out his album ‘13th Month’. The creation of the record was inspired by indigenous moon cycles that Duran learned about while living on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where he shot a documentary titled ‘To the North’. While he sees his music as a purely emotional counterpart to his visual arts and film work, his artistic and scholarly interests focus on issues of racism, police brutality, and the interplay between disenfranchised groups and civil architecture.
Anyone who has seen Vv Pete's recent shows around Sydney knows she has a trove of explosive, unreleased material which gobsmacked audiences are already learning the lyrics to. With a sharpened flow reminiscent of artists like Stefflon Don, and Lizzo, her music has featured in editorial playlisting at Apple Music & Spotify, on Ebro In The Morning on Hot 97 (US), garnered a sync on the new Netflix series Heartbreak High and support from local tastemakers Acclaim Magazine, Hau Latukefu/Triple J’s The Hip Hop Show, and seen her awarded with an FBi Radio SMAC Award win for ‘Next Big Thing’.
2023 will see her release an EP that will showcase her one-of-a-kind energy, endlessly witty phrasing, globe-trotting sonic influences and boss-level delivery. With her unique fusion of sharp rap hooks, heavy club beats and global dance music, Vv is forging a genre-bending flavour of Australian rap that is hers alone.
Austin Benjamin, known for his stage name Utility is a Sydney-based composer, producer & founder of local label Trackwork. Utility’s work often reaches beyond solely producing music with experience in developing both the sonic & visual branding of projects with new, exciting artists & producers internationally, across multiple genres. He’s produced music for artists including Jesswar, Gino October (Universal Music New Zealand), and Lil Jaye & Eco$ystem’s Block Hotter (66 Records / Warner Music Group) which featured on Spotify’s A1, Apple Music’s The New Australia and was performed on the Juice World Tour in 2019.
Kelman Duran + Vv Pete + Utility will play Phoenix Central Park on 6 June 2023. Free tickets via ballot.