Utility on his SMACS Fest set and developing emerging talent

June 1st 2022

  • Utility :: Interview with Dan and Naz

The enigmatic Utility stopped by FBi to chat with Dan and Naz on Up For It! ahead of his performance at FBi’s SMACS Fest next Friday to talk about developing emerging talent and extending his set at SMACS Fest.

Utility is a true multi-hyphenate. A producer and founder of the label Trackwork, he has spearheaded an emergence of Eora based rap that illuminates artists whose stories don’t often have the chance to be told. Speaking on the ethos of Trackwork, Utility described how it came out of a lack of opportunities for rappers he was working with like T Breezy. 

“I just couldn’t think of anywhere that this more left-field area of rap would sit in an Australian landscape in terms of labels. I came up playing on DIY punk and metal labels when I was younger and I was like, why not just start a platform.”

This focus on developing emerging talent is clearly a passion for Utility, who arrived at the studio fresh off a trip to Bourke, where he ran production workshops for youths in collaboration with Ace Parramatta and the Bourke Aboriginal Health Service. Speaking to Dan and Naz, it is clear that he finds this sort of community outreach incredibly rewarding.

“There were some serious standouts, these kids at the local school called Val and Eddie, they must have been about 12 or something… they were just besties. They brought it in and it was just mental, it was like bagging out some of the teachers… bagging out Ms Gordon!”

If that story wasn’t exciting enough, Utility also revealed to Dan and Naz who he will be bringing to FBi’s SMACS Fest next Friday. Joining utility will be VV (who has an upcoming EP) T Breezy, Walker Boy, Bayang and Sevy.

“As I’m saying it out loud it’s sounding like a very big lineup for one set… Maybe I’m going to have to stretch this a bit and make it a bit longer because there’s too many tracks to fit in… You guys cool to make it like an hour?”
Naz remarked “Well you’re in the right place to ask!” 

No matter how long the set ends up being, it is sure to contain “banger after banger” in Utility’s words. Have a listen to his chat with Dan and Naz up top, and be sure to get tickets to FBi’s SMACS Fest below to catch Utility live.

WHO: Utility & Friends
WHAT: FBi’s SMACS Fest
WHERE: Oxford Art Factory
WHEN: Friday, June 10
HOW MUCH: $25 + booking fees for FBi Supporters, and $35 + booking fees for the general public. Buy tickets here.

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