At just seventeen years old Mali has made already huge strides in the Sydney music scene, mentoring, working, performing and producing her own music. 

DJ’ing for J Milla infront of 4,000 people was a huge moment in Mali’s career so far, “Creating music is obviously something I really enjoy and getting to share that with a whole crowd is just mad. You’re just seeing the crowd’s reaction, the whole room just sharing the same energy. As a producer you’re always trying to recreate that same feeling you get when you’re up on that stage.”

And now in April 2024 Mali has just been announced as Audio-Technica’s Creator of the Month! See full article HERE.

Images by Ladstreet who met with Chris, Mali & Utility and documented one of their workshops. We’d like to dedicate this post to Tahmid Narullah aka Ladstreet and his impact to multiple musical communities across Sydney & Western Sydney. Ladstreet forever.

SESSION ONE – WED, MAY 8
Winangali Infusion & Nakama Arts presents – Art of Rap workshops @ Knox Studio, Boggabilla.
Special guests Kobie Dee & P.Smurf will be running the sessions, mentoring participants in the art of songwriting, rap and recording.
All Welcome | Free Feed | Live Performances

SESSION TWO – THURS, MAY 9
Aside from their trip to Boggabilla, Kobie Dee & P Smurf will also be hitting Moree for our Art of Rap Workshops in May.
They’ll be running sessions alongside Mad Proppa Deadly mentors Dekquitah & Tom at the MPD studio, Moree Sports Health Arts and Education Academy.
All Welcome | Free Feed | Live Performances

Come down and get involved!

It don’t stop! Business as usual this week at the Mad Proppa Deadly Moree studio.

Dekquitah & Tom are running sessions Tuesday & Thursday evenings from 7pm at Moree Sports Health Arts and Education Academy.

We are happy to announce we have partnered with Audio-Technica Australia for the next edition of The Blend!
We are offering a 10 week intensive program with one on one DJ tuition from our mentor DIOLA.

There are only four positions available for the first course, so get in quick to lock in your spot! Email us at info@nakama-arts.com.au

We’ve been lucky enough to work with Jerrah Patston (one of our favourite singer/songwriters) on his last two full length albums and thanks to Club Weld, we were again able to assist Jerrah in the recording and production of a song he wrote for ABC Kids show, Fizzy & Suds.

Jerrah was asked to put together the theme song for Fizzy & Suds and alongside his longtime collaborator Sam Worrad, he did an amazing job!
Check it out now on ABC TV & iView.

This month saw the beginning of the first 10 week program at Winangali Infusion’s ‘Knox Studio’ in Boggabilla.
Mad Proppa Deadly will be facilitating the studio sessions assisted by Moree artists Dekquinta J Naden & Tommy Young.

The MPD crew will be mentoring local up and coming producer/engineers KobidunksJamayne Hippi in the ins and outs of recording, production and mix techniques.
We are proud to be supporting these guys in their incredible work, looking forward to hearing what comes banging out the studio doors!

Check link for the ABC story covering the set-up of the studio in Boggabilla.

| ARTICLE |

‘I DJ’ed for J Milla at the Giiyong Festival in front of 4,000 people! I’m seventeen, two years ago I had no idea what I was going to do. Music and a bit of help has changed my life.’ That’s the story of Mali Nakalevu, a young producer and DJ from the inner-west of Sydney.

Mali started her musical journey at Glebe Youth Service (GYS), a place where local kids often gather after school and in the early evenings. It’s a not-for-profit charity that provides a safe space and creative opportunities for teens and one of those opportunities is in the music studio that TAG Cares helped equip.

Back in 2021 I’d encouraged Technical Audio Group (TAG) to assist GYS with equipment for the new music studio.’ Explained Chris Hamer-Smith. ‘So, when I joined TAG and formed the Nakama Arts programs GYS was one of my top priorities.’

Chris was able to spend time formulating programs that would engage the teens, introducing a weekly one on one music production workshop called ‘The Platform’ facilitated by Utility, a prominent Hip-Hop producer and the founder of Sydney-based record label Trackwork.

In collaboration with Heaps Decent, Chris also began a regular Wednesday afternoon ‘Open Studio’ session with mentors Lorenz Prichard and Tom Elliott, aimed more as a drop-in for anyone interested to get in the studio and have a go at music-making.

It was at ‘The Platform’ where Mali initially created her first beats and what started as an after-school hobby swiftly evolved into a fervent passion, propelling her to become a regular attendee at the Wednesday studio sessions also. Her commitment didn’t go unnoticed with Chris and Utility recognising her potential, both helping her develop production skills in the studio and providing mentoring support.

Around the same time Chris had been asked by Deadly Connections, a First Nations community organisation, to provide DJ equipment and a sound system for their monthly community events. Seeing an opportunity for upcoming DJ’s to perform at these events, and also commercial functions, he started a program of DJ workshops on Friday afternoons at TAG’s Stanmore office.

Known as ‘The Blend’, local headline DJ Krystel Diola jumped on board as tutor/mentor and quickly made it her own with Mali being one of her top students. ‘Despite having limited access to equipment outside the workshops, Mali’s commitment is really impressive. She continually refines her technical skills and embodies the dedication of a true producer and lover of music’. Enthused Krystel.

In October 2023 Mali DJ’ed for First Nations rapper Kootsie Don at Parramatta Lanes Festival. The success of that performance led to the invitation from J Milla, a venerable First Nations rapper from Darwin, to support him at the Giiyong Festival.

It makes me feel so good, seeing people enjoy my work, knowing I’ve created the same feeling in them that I feel.’ Commented Mali. ‘I’ve got a long way to go but I’ve realised that this is what I want to do, it’s given me real direction and helped me find a constructive and creative pathway. I’m really happy progressing every day and it’s something I can help others with.’

Recognising the importance of passing on her love for music and how it has given her purpose, Mali is now dedicating time to mentoring the next generation of talents at the GYS music studio. Her mentees, aged ten to fifteen, benefit from her knowledge in beat-making, recording and songwriting. ‘Mali has shown a great sense of community leadership and purpose and her desire to give back is truly humbling.’ Observed Utility. ‘We can’t wait to see what the future holds. She’s super talented and determined – we’re learning from her now!’

Mali’s story was officially recognised when she was awarded the City of Sydney’s Betty Makin Community Youth Award for her outstanding commitment to community enrichment through music mentorship. ‘Chris, Krystel and Utility have been a constant support and help in my musical journey.’ Said Mali. ‘I’m an example of what can happen when there are community spaces with creative opportunities and the right people around to help.’

Photograph: LADSTREET

While we’ve been waiting for council approval on the construction of our music studio in Bourke, we’ve been working away at a small barbershop space within the same building. Where locals can get a fresh cut and also have opportunity to skill up and train to cut hair themselves.

More details soon, cannot wait!

We are honoured to have played a small part in putting this powerful piece of music together, helping assist with the mix and master at our NKA Studio in Sydney.
We love Kobie and everything he stands for!

Artwork by Oumoula Mckenzie

| STREAM NOW |