Less than two years ago, Sydney duo Jackie Onassis erupted onto the Australian music scene in a blaze of hype that most emerging acts only dream of.
Jackie Onassis is comprised of vocalist Kai and producer Raph, two high school friends who attended the same musically-fertile campus as their One Day counterparts Horrorshow and Spit Syndicate.
The pair’s first musical offerings were the bedroom-produced yet world-class EPs Holiday and Juliette, which introduced Jackie Onassis’ signature sound to the world: progressive synths and samples, snapping drums and huge, infectious choruses.
Jackie Onassis were instantly and very warmly embraced by the national youth broadcaster triple j, as well as by fans and industry pundits alike. Almost every rapper in Australia could be seen sporting Jackie Onassis t-shirts, with the portrait of the world’s most famous first lady becoming nearly as ubiquitous as the Sydney outfit’s presence on the airwaves.
Their first single ‘Crystal Balling’ quickly became a radio favourite, receiving months of high rotation at triple j as well as commercial airplay, before being played on the coveted BBC Radio 1 in the UK, which spawned a UK tour including The Great Escape festival.
Jackie Onassis’ upward trajectory ever since has been virtually unparalleled: they’ve signed a record deal with Sony Music, a publishing deal with Universal, and established themselves as radio favourites, enjoying heavy, continued radio play and blitzing their shot at triple j’s Like A Version. Renowned for their explosive, high-energy live performances, Jackie O have toured the country extensively, becoming a regular fixture on most major festival lineups.
As part of hip hop collective One Day, alongside Spit Syndicate, Horrorshow and Joyride, they released one of 2014’s biggest albums Mainline, which debuted at #2 on the ARIA charts. Jackie Onassis recently rocked the biggest venues of their careers as part of the One Day national tour. All before dropping their highly-anticipated debut LP.
Jackie Onassis aren’t afraid of taking risks; Raph’s production is bold, drawing on outside influences of electronica, while remaining distinctly its own. Aside from his powerful command of flow and melody, Kai has an uncanny ability to express the thoughts and concerns of the Millenials with his observational and provocative songwriting.
A testament to their versatility, appeal and the fresh breath of air they represent is their loyal, diverse fanbase, which spans a broad spectrum including hip hop fanatics, young fashionistas and wider music fans who, up to that point, had no previous affinity for Australian rap.
Their ambitious approach to making music extends to their plans of taking Jackie Onassis, already adored in their homeland, to the rest of the world, including a return to the UK.
As they prepare their highly anticipated debut album for a mid 2015 release, Jackie Onassis have positioned themselves firmly at the forefront of a new wave of Australian rap, one which is leaving behind the traditional, often tired approach to the genre.
Jackie Onassis’ debut LP is set to prove that the blaze of hype that has fuelled the journey thus far is nothing compared to the inferno that awaits.