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This Festival Is Showing Off Australia’s Best Female Hip-Hop Talent

Rhyan Clapham is a Hip Hop artist and drummer. Aged 23, he has completed a Bachelor of Music at the University of NSW, and an Indigenous Studies Honours (focusing on Aboriginal Hip Hop music) in 2015. He proudly identifies as a Filipino and Aboriginal musician, and a member of the Murrawarri Republic in Brewarrina, NSW.Rhyan’s musical training began at age 7. He studied classical piano and achieved AMEB grade 6 and grade 2 musicianship. At age 14, he learned jazz drumkit, and in 2012 performed as part of the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music in California, Nevada and San Francisco, USA.He has performed as a rapper and drummer for Kevin Hunt’s ‘Our Music’ concert at the Sydney Conservatorium, Yabun Festival, UNSW corporate and academic events, Koori Radio events and at numerous NAIDOC celebrations across Australia, and as a rapper and drummer for Sydney band Jackie Brown Jr in various events and festivals such as Wollombi Music Festival, Rabbits Eat Lettuce and Psyfari Festival.
Rhyan currently facilitates Hip Hop and drum workshops in community centres, and both primary and high schools throughout Sydney and rural NSW. He is also currently an academic tutor in Indigenous Studies at UNSW.

We are still subject to thorough scrutiny when it comes to Aboriginality. Many of us often find ourselves having to justify our families and history if our skin doesn’t match their presumptions. It’s time to delve into conversations about all of our beautiful blak people, all shades of black and brown,”

 I don’t want to be the best Indigenous rapper, I want to be the best rapper. I don’t think it’s fair for us to be boxed aside just because of our content or because of our identity. So it’s definitely more than just your identity, it’s about your musicality, it’s about your culture. It’s about acknowledging the fact that it’s not just hip-hop from Australia, we’re tied to Brooklyn, we’re tied to the Bronx, this is a cross-cultural platform.