Next Big Thing – presented by Fellr

We’re pretty good at spotting a rising star before they enter the stratosphere. These six Sydney up ’n’ comers are right on the cusp and we’re crowd-sourcing our crystal ball, asking you to help us predict who’ll be hitting the big time next. Let us know which of these “only a matter of time” type of acts is the “only a matter of time”-est of them all.

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Zion Garcia

Zion Garcia’s catalogue encompasses every permutation of hip hop. The Western-Sydney rapper, writer and film-maker’s artistic ambition is on full display in his production, each track seeming coming from a totally musical lineage. Be it 60’s vibraphone warbling or hard-charging UK grime sounds, this scope is hardly surprising considering Garcia’s expansive influences. Making music from a young age, Garcia pairs his creative depth with a well-honed craft. Combine all that with his striking live presence to complete his litany of strengths and it is easy to see why Zion Garcia is on our list for next big thing.

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xmunashe’s presence as an artist exudes that tantalising mix of cool, collected – and blisteringly energetic. Beginning to make music at age 18, the poly-instrumentalist is known for his improvisational live shows, staged wherever there is space in Sydney. Photos of music equipment, sprawling cables and eldrich synths encircled by people in dimly lit rooms are like rumours, spreading a sense of something new and something special. Yet to officially release his own music, apart from live recordings we’re lucky enough to play on air, acclaim comes in the form of collaboration, or selection to play month-long residencies. That is until xmunashe reveals his mysterious music – until then, there is only electrifying potential.

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Lottie World

Just as she is named, the music of Lottie World truly transports you to the artist’s own dimension. What exactly is Lottie’s world like? It’s dreamy, coloured with airy synths and powdery, percussive production. Adding to the other-Worldliness of it all, unorthodox song structures add a narrative feel to it all, the scenes changing. Lottie World’s talents as a visual artist complete her creative powers and cement her as one of Sydney’s most captivating independent artists. Indeed her debut EP, 2022’s My Pop Album, drew fast fans from many FBi listeners. With the follow up building upon the strengths of 2022’s release, we can’t wait to see where Lottie World goes – no – where she takes us next…

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ealing is one of those artists who bursts the obscurity of a niche sound sending it hurtling into the wider musical imagination. The producer’s deep-web sensibility is drenched in innumerable influences for those that want to look. For those that don’t? Stellar production on well arranged tracks straight out of some megacity sci-fi. Releasing their debut Hearyoucalling me in 2019, Ealing has been heard on the radio from here to London. This attention is not without warrant – aside from the expert execution, Ealing represents a changing front.

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cherry chola

To most, the words fae and reggaeton would seem an unlikely combination. This thought is quickly vapourised by Cherry Chola’s music, whose distinctive mix of the two brings out the best in both. Using music as a way to continue speaking her native Spanish, Cherry’s airy flow floats atop the smouldering, reggaeton beats with all the attitude of a fairy riding a tank. Releasing her debut ‘✿★⁂’, it was clear to us immediately that this was music made for the radio. With her sound and persona big enough for any stage to come, Cherry Chola has earned her place on our list for next big thing 2023.

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Anyone who considers themselves a gig-goer in Sydney has likely happened across a room where Carnations were weaving magic into a crowd. A conglomerate of the Sydney DIY scene, the band have a singular vision of doom infused yet bright and bouncy avant-pop. It comes out in their unique lineup, dual vocalists and dual synths dancing atop a meticulous rhythm section, all pointing towards songs that are made to sing along to. With a self-titled debut EP to their name, and already a loyal fanbase, this is only just the beginning for a band set to achieve greatness.

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