Review: BIG SWELL – WVS + Friends Showcase

New-wave Australian record label WVS, along with Complex AU, just threw what was perhaps the biggest, brightest and best showcase of Hip-Hop talent in this country, ever. 

Featuring WVS label-mates Travy P, I.E. and Kwasi x HFNR, along with a whole lot of friends and special guests throughout the night, Big Swell lived up to the huge hype that had built in the weeks leading up to the event.

Held at Melbourne’s Ding Dong Lounge, Big Swell kicked off at 9pm, with 15 acts playing 15 minute sets each, as well as a number of secret guests set to perform throughout the night.

The night kicked-off on the right foot, with Melbourne emcee’s Poppy and Reiis performing equally lively and engaging sets, as the first special guests of the night were shortly revealed, with Cult Shøtta and Geek turning the vibe up a notch.

With the AUD’$ DJs controlling the vibe of the place in between sets for the first half of the night, the crowd never settled, particularly once Kash Kal‘s FKN OATH came on.

Melbourne locals Sophiegrophy, Mike Wang (with special guest Phantom) and Cylo all played their best and biggest hits, and Petero Thony smashed out his own banger, No No (Hennessy), from within the wild mosh pit. Devarn also hopped up to perform his own song during the AUD’$ DJ set.

Next-up was Juñor, who moved from the decks to centre stage to perform some unreleased material along with his popular single Vortex. After his set he introduced the next two special guests of the night, Midas.Gold and Ivan Ooze.

Midas belted out 000000 to a huge reception, while Ooze followed with his biggest joint to date, Bills. The crowd was buzzing, rowdy and ready for more by the time JUVE took to the stage, producing live from behind the decks, as HVNCOQ got ready to perform next.

HVNCOQ played an intimate, yet energetic set that had the entire mosh engaged and invested in his performance, in what was the perfect build-up to the main acts of the night.

The first of those main acts was WVS artist I.E., and the mysterious emcee did not disappoint, playing some unreleased tunes along with his debut anthem, OMW, which had the entire mosh vibing together as one.

Fellow WVS label-mates Kwasi x HFNR were playing next, as the crowd just-about reached capacity. The mosh pit was jam-packed and the drinks were still flowing in the early hours of Friday morning when the pair took to the stage. Kwasi and HFNR promised to thrash out, and that’s exactly what they did.

The duo’s live set was next-level, particularly for their brand new single, Thrash Out (No Tradition), and their final song, Bandito. Kwasi not only crowd surfed, but rapped while hanging from the lights during Bandito, which was easily one of the wildest and most entertaining moments of the night.

WVS refused to let the crowd relax, as the DJs played banger after banger, before Travy P took to the stage. His huge stage presence, charismatic aura and hyped live show were all on display as he performed 24/7, and un-released track titled Real Estate, and his biggest hit to date, Sleepover, to which he brought out special guest 360.

Travy and 60 bounced off each other with an unbelievable energy that shook the venue, before teaming up once again to perform another collaboration between the pair that is currently unreleased. Following that banger, 360 blessed us with yet another unreleased single of his that will be on his upcoming album, Vintage Modern, and the fans were loving it.

The crowd hung around following 360 and Travy’s performance, eager to watch Sydney emcee Lil Spacely turn-up on stage, for what was the final live set of the night. Spacely had the mosh pit going harder than ever as his in-your-face energy was as entertaining as any acts we had seen that night.

WVS DJ Mat Cant closed out the night with a non-stop mix of some of the worlds biggest songs, as the remaining crowd stuck around for one last drink.

This was WVS’ first ever Big Swell event, and it was a raging success. Never before has there been such an impressive and enjoyable showcase of Hip-Hop in Australia than what we saw on Thursday night.

Hip-Hop in this country is ready to explode on an international scale, and Big Swell proved to be the perfect showing as to why it not only will blow up, with the talent on display, but why it deserves to, with the scene coming together to enjoy and embrace each others work. The night was not only iconic for this budding Hip-Hop scene, but historical.

This will not be a one off event for WVS, particularly following its success.

You can’t stop the WVS, but you can learn to surf.




Written by Jarrod van der Staay

4 thoughts on “Review: BIG SWELL – WVS + Friends Showcase

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