Photography - Byron Evans
It’s 7.15pm on Saturday as I hurry into Mojos fretting that I may have missed the opening act of Adrian Dzvuke’s 'Darling' Single launch. As I bust through the doors I am met by a young girl in a blue dress nervously stepping into the stage light and giving an acknowledgement to the traditional custodians of this land, the Noongar-Whadjuk people.
As she exited the stage I notice the amazing lighting and smoke, this has to be the best I have ever seen the Mojos stage look.
As I set up and fumble to get my camera primed, a young man in a black hoodie gets onto stage and sets off the bonfire that is the growing crowd with a simple “I’m Mali Jo$e and this is our first song”. As the band comes in with a rawkus rhythm section, the dance floor immediately fills and the the room is heaving.
I admit I was out of depth in the HipHop scene I found myself within, with little experience to compare it to. However Mali Jo$e has to be one of the best openers I have experienced in some time and at 18 years old, it is even more impressive. Hard to believe that Jo$e has only recently arrived on the scene with his smooth lyrical flow, laid back attitude and effortless, comfortable stage presence. This is an act to keep your eye on because Mali Jo$e is on a warpath and I can’t see anyone stopping him even if they wanted to.
The crowd clears in the intermission, I get a drink from the bar and head outside to clear my head. The attendees excitedly talk about Jo$e’s new track. I settle down in a corner and watch the members of this event revel in the fact that we in WA have been blessed to avoid much of the ripple affect of the COVID pandemic that other countries face at this very moment.
The first notes of Adrian Dzvuke’s set ring out over the speakers and the crowd surges inside in the middle of sentences, abandoning half smoked cigarettes and unrequited pool rivalries.
Dzvuke humbly thanks everyone for coming, stating how grateful he is that he can perform again. As the band breaks out into their first song a smile that crinkles his eyes spreads across Dzvuke’s face as the crowd roars. This is a man who truely loves what he does.
For the second song Dzvuke invites Mali Jo$e back on stage for their collab track.
Jo$e and Dvzuke’s chemistry on stage was palpable. I have seen few performance’s the exuded as much energy as these two rising stars of Perth’s HipHop scene did.
The set also included the first performance of a currently unreleased track 'Ocean Drive', the new single 'Darling' and a finale with (at the request of the band) Dzvuke’s classic 'Bad Like Ri Ri' for the second time that night.
As I exited Mojo’s into the night I reflected on what I had witnessed. The heaving energies of the music, the feeling of a whole crowd dancing and singing together, the respect each band showed not only for each other but also for the origins of our land many of us forget. I felt whole and satisfied, energetic and excited. A beautiful introduction to another community of music.
Reviewer - Byron Evans