Get To Know: WVS Next Gen Class of 2018

Late last year, WVS launched the first annual NEXT GEN class, an initiative that allowed any and every urban artist in Australia to submit a song to the team at WVS, with a total of 11 artists making the 2018 NEXT GEN class.

The NEXT GEN initiative gives the selected artists a new platform to showcase their music, featuring on an official compilation and performing at a live showcase on Thursday, the 25th of January, at Melbourne’s Evelyn Hotel.

The team at WVS received in excess of 100 entries over the three-week period that submissions were open, and of those 100+ submissions, we carefully selected 10 unique, upcoming artists to be apart of the 2018 class. It was then up to the public to vote for the 11th Next Gen artist in a wildcard poll, which Vic August won after almost 800 votes from the public were counted in just 24 hours.

Of the 11 artists selected for the WVS Next Gen Class of 2018, a remarkable six Australian States/Territories are covered (of a possible eight), making the class of ‘18 as diverse as it is dynamic.


Over in the West, Perth is home to two of the 2018 Next Gen artists.

José Halftime is a 22-year-old lyricist out of the 6k who impressed in 2017 after dropping two hard-hitting, self-produced EPs with ‘The Grove’ and ‘Stickup’.

José’s Next Gen entry, ‘Wreckonize’, embodies the charisma and confidence that bleeds into all of the young emcee’s music, as he rides the slapping drums and murky bass lines with style and ease.

The 6k spitter will be one to watch on the 25th of January, as he delivers his straight-from-the-street bars live in Melbourne for the very first time.

Fellow West Australian rapper Figuero Jones will also look to win over some brand new fans at The Evelyn Hotel next week, as he showcases the best cuts from his 2017 mixtape ‘Hustleman Sound,’ as well as some brand new material.

The Home Baked member came through with an abundance of styles and sounds on his last project, melding rattling trap bangers, alternative Hip-Hop vibes and an aura on the mic that sounds as impressive as it does imposing.

Figuero’s biggest hit to date, ‘Rogue,’ could well be one of the highlights of the showcase on Thursday, alongside his catchy Next Gen exclusive anthem, ‘Pack.’

Common collaborator of Figuero Jones is Northern Territory-based teen Vic August, who snagged the Wild Card slot for the class of ’18.

At just 16-years-of-age August is the youngest member of the class, although, he’s undoubtedly one of the most productive artists in the country, releasing a single, or EP, just about every other week.

The young, hungry Darwin-based artist dropped ‘Centrefold’ as his WVS Next Gen entry, toying with futuristic melodies and tones throughout the track, making you forget about his age and remember just how good he is.

“Take a look at any list my name is attached to, I’m always the youngest on there and I’m always near the top,” said Vic on his rise. Touché.

Geelong’s own Lordholani is yet another hungry, self-produced artist who made the WVS Next Gen Class of 2018 with ‘Self Doubt,’ a rap-sangin’, R&B influenced hit.

The proud Bay City artist showed nothing but promise in 2017 with a collection of smooth R&B cross Hip-Hop releases, as well as a monumental joint EP with fellow Geelong rapper Yung Juiceboxx.

As someone who can do it all, Lordholani will most definitely be one to watch at this Thursday’s showcase.

One artist who will feel at home performing in Melbourne is burn city rapper and integral GREMLNS member, Mike Wang.

Mike Wang has been a SoundCloud sensation over the last few years, dropping a consistent stream of powerful and popular bangers that never fail to engrain themselves deep into your memory.

The GREMLNS songwriter delivered a wave of creative, idiosyncratic bars over some floaty production for his Next Gen entry ‘Just Want,’ adding yet another stunning string to his already impressive bow.

The second local to take to the stage at next week’s WVS Next Gen showcase will be 18-year-old Devarn.

Devarn is a diverse creative out of Melbourne who’s new-age trap ballads have garnered a host of attention and acclaim across the last 12 months.

The burn city rapper’s Next Gen compilation release is ‘The Grind,’ a smooth, self-reflective anthem that ooze’s character and charisma from the budding star.

Kirklandd is a progressive act out of the nations capital who further developed his sound last year following a string of successful singles and a headline tour in 2016.

The culmination of that development came with his WVS Next Gen release, ‘Faded,’ a Cam Bluff-produced fusion of modern trap and live instrumentation that had the Canberra emcee spitting some quick-fire verses over heavy 808s either side of the grand, booming chorus.

As one of the most experienced performers in the class of 2018, Kirklandd is set to put on a memorable live performance at The Evelyn this Thursday.

Sydney R&B queen Jessica Jade has garnered a wide array of media and public attention with her stunning remixes and original singles over the last few years, with each track oozing happy-go-lucky, feel-good vibes.

The future R&B star saved her best work to date for the Next Gen compilation with ‘I’m Good,’ a bouncy, pop-fused banger that will undoubtedly bring in a sizeable crowd at the upcoming showcase.

Representing Western Sydney’s Blacktown is 20-year-old rapper Elijah Yo, who’s high-octane trap banger ‘Mojo’ earned him a spot in this years Next Gen class.

Having opened for Torey Lanez in 2017, Yo has already gained valuable experience on stage, and his performance at this weeks showcase is sure to be as hard-hitting and high-energy as his songs are.

Wollongong-based emcee Kid Pharaoh dropped an eccentric, eclectic full-length album last year with the self-produced ‘Ancient [R]evolution,’ and from that project, comes Pharaoh’s Next Gen anthem ‘Two Cents.’

‘Two Cents’ is four minutes of pure, rapid-fire energy from the West Sydney product that’s custom built for a hyped and hectic live performance.

The Egyptian-Australian rapper has already shared the stage with Australian Hip-Hop giants such as Seth Sentry and Thundamentals, and now, he’s ready to take the WVS Next Gen stage by storm.

18-year-old Brisbane rapper iiiConic released a sting of singles last year, although none compared to the grand, polished nature of his latest effort ‘Upgrade.’

‘Upgrade’ is filled with thumping bass-lines and rattling hi-hats making for a superb, striking anthem that is as joyous as it is imposing.

You can catch iiiConic putting on for BNE live at tomorrow’s WVS Next Gen showcase.

The NEXT GEN 2018 Live Showcase will feature the 11 finalists from the class of 2018, all performing live at The Evelyn Hotel in Fitzroy, on the 25th of January (Australia Day Eve).


Jessica Jade
Elijah Yo
Mike Wang
Kid Pharoah
Jose Halftime
Figuero Jones
Vic August


Written by Jarrod van der Staay

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