New For 2021
We're shining a spotlight on the best new Australian artists set to dominate 2021. Welcome Tweed Heads hip hop artist JK-47.
He’s been described as one of the slickest lyricists in the game, and after the foundations he laid in 2020, we’re certain Tweed Heads emcee JK-47 is definitely on to something.
A proud Gudjinburra man of the Bundjalung nation, Jacob Paulson’s music is ingrained in his love and pride for his community, giving voice to important messages that need to be talked about – using his platform for those who feel unheard.
JK-47 has been writing music since he was 14, cutting his teeth around his hometown, before taking his music around the country thanks to his work with acts like Gratis Minds, Nerve, ChillinIt, Lemaire, and his own band Kinship Collective.
An absolute force to be reckoned with, 2020 was quite the year for JK-47. Not only did he release his brilliant debut album Made For This – a tremendous achievement in itself – but he also garnered huge praise from fans, music tastemakers and critics alike, praising the record for its powerful lyrics and phenomenal sound. Oh, and he was also awarded the triple j Unearthed Artist of the Year Award.
The album features a host of collaborators and explores themes like parenthood and the continued struggle for justice by First Nations people with an honesty and openness that is impossible to turn away from. While channelling that classic ‘90s-era hip hop feel, the record also calls in elements of blues and soul, creating the perfect bed for Jk-47’s powerful lyrics and impeccable delivery.
If you’re looking for important voices in Australian hip hop, look no further than JK-47 – if his debut record is this good, we can’t wait to see what the future holds.
The JK-47 Story
From the beginning
JK-47: “I first started making music when I was 14 with my brother and cousin. They were rapping before me, so I sort of followed them into it, but I’ve always loved music and hip-hop. I feel like I’ve grown a lot since then and it’s changed the way I see things as an artist today. The connection I have with music has grown deeper with time.”
What you’ll hear
JK-47: “I’d say my sound is more old-school because I admire how it all started. I’ve always wanted my sound to be unique – not what everyone else says/does/sounds like – and based around putting love and understanding in this messed up world.”
Influences & inspiration
JK-47: “I’ve always admired people who use their voices and platforms to speak on the issues that are affecting people. Music that was bigger than just music that you can relate to and can help you get through the day. That’s what I hope the music I make will be used for.”
For the love of music
JK-47: “I love that the music I write can get someone through the worst of times. That feeling when I write about something close to my heart, and it’s like a massive weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It’s cool that I can connect to anyone around the world that loves music.”
JK-47: “I won the 2020 Unearthed Artist of The Year Award, that was a big highlight for me. But mostly just watching my self evolve and become better than I was when I started. Thats the biggest thing for me, that I’m growing not just physically but mentally too. I feel like if I focus on improvement all those big opportunities will present themselves, it’s just a matter of time.”
2020 taught me:
JK-47: “Don’t let what’s going on with the world put fear in your heart and dictate how you live life on this earth. Though 2020 was viewed as the worst year, I got married, had a son, and released an album that went really well. So make the most of what you got whenever and however you can.”
The year ahead
JK-47: “Covid has slowed us up a bit but we actually do have a lot planned for 2021. If everything goes to plan we should have a big year, but if not we’ll just keep making music for the next album so either way, get keen!”
When we chat in 12 months…
JK-47: “This time next year I hope to have finished a national tour, looking at owning my own home, enjoying my best life with my family and friends, and still making good music.”
JK-47 – The Recipe
“I wrote this track probably three years before I put it out and it’s now one of my biggest songs. I also went back and changed a lot of the lyrics from when I first wrote it.”
JK-47 – On One ft. Chiggz, NATEG, and Nerve
“This track was also started way before I decided to drop it or make an album. It was also the first ever recording session I had with Brisbane rapper Nerve and the NO1 NETWORK crew.”
JK-47 – I Am Here (Trust Me) ft Phoebe Jacobs
“I wrote this song at a creative camp run by Desert Pea Media with vocalist Phoebe Jacobs and producer Hazy. We wanted to shine a light on the issues surrounding the systematic injustices being done here on our own country.”
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