This morning we were granted a look at the line up for this year’s Meredith Music Festival and of course, like every year, it’s pretty friggin sick. And while we’re not shading any artist on the line up – Aldous Harding has our heart and the inclusion of Future Islands on the bill has proper excited us too – the one name that had us extending thumbs to our screens to hit the /praisehands emoji today was, aptly, Noname.
The 25 year old had one of the best albums of last year in Telefone – well up there with Frank Ocean’s Blonde, in my opinion – and yet, she’s yet to have made that proper splash an international artist would have in Australia if it wasn’t for a festival brand (like a Laneway or a Meredith) would provide. So here we are. One of the biggest buzz artists of 2016 is coming to the ‘Sup for her Aussie debut.
What a way to do it.
So, who is she? If you haven’t yet schooled yourself on Noname, hit Spotify, YouTube or any streaming platform now.
The poet and hip hop artist hails from Chicago, who is currently riding hot off the back of Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa (and that’s right now), so automatically, you’ve got a urban landscape and a city culture that is within to launch from. Speaking of Chance, the two Chicagoans have been buds since adolescence and when it’s come to collaborations, Noname (real name Fatimah Warner) has already jumped on Acid Rap and The Coloring Book.
A fiercely talented wordsmith, Noname built up solid hype when it became evident the debut record in Telefone was on the near horizon. Her stories are rooted in the real themes of struggle and survival, coming into ones own and especially, growing up in a city like Chicago as a black woman. Her rap style is near on flawless, while her spoken word flow engages instantly. Vocally, Noname falls in line with other rad ladies who have really made their mark over the last year, particularly Solange and NAO. There are hints of Erykah [Badu] in there but make no mistake, the attitude and empathy the belies the strength in Noname’s lyrics are most definitely her own.
“Ain’t no one safe in this happy city,” she determines on Telefone highlight “Casket Pretty”, a track addressing a too-frequent number of deaths that occur in her town (and on a broader level, America in general right now).
Bringing the likes of Raury, Xavier Omär and Rayvn Lenae on various Telefone cuts only further demonstrates the strong musical diversity Noname’s path is encompassing and for those who had been following her pre-mixtape release, this was the best pay off to have asked for.
As an artist, Noname remains a bit of an enigma; she is difficult to pigeon-hole, which is great. Ever complex and ever evolving, there’s a definite sense that she is just getting started.
Giddy up, Meredith.
Follow Noname here in the meantime!
The Meredith Music Festival runs from December 8th – 10th this year at the Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre. Enter the ticket ballot at www.mmf.com.au and check out the as-announced line up below!
MEREDITH MUSIC FESTIVAL LINE UP
TODD TERJE & THE OLSENS
MARK SEYMOUR & THE UNDERTOW
HARVEY SUTHERLAND & BERMUDA
AMYL & THE SNIFFERS
THE TESKEY BROTHERS
THE SENEGAMBIAN JAZZ BAND
RINGS AROUND SATURN