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Wednesday, 26 September 2012 14:15

Bias B: Seasoned

Bias B (aka Adam Stevens) pioneered Aussie hip hop in the 1990s, but not even he predicted how widespread and popular it would become.

Adam released his first album, 'Beezwax', in 1998 – a time when Aussie hip hop was considered an underground movement. Hell, ARIA didn't add Best Urban Release to their annual awards ceremony until 2004.

“When my first album ‘Beezwax’ came out, I think it took three or four years to sell 500 copies which at the time was actually good numbers,” Adam recalls. “I remember other people having releases out and thinking they were going to have number one hits around that time, and I was saying to them, 'you're dreaming, it's not like that, it's [a] small [scene]'.”

Adam was under the belief local rap music would remain that way. That was, of course, until the Hilltop Hoods began receiving heavy rotation on Triple J for 'The Nosebleed Section'.

“Radio is a big part of it. We've always had community stations playing it down here, like PBS, Triple R and 2SER in Sydney, etcetera. But it came down to whoever was the person at Triple J who picked the music … and latched onto it, pumped it and it was something people wanted to hear – the sound they were waiting for.”

The mainstream appeal of the genre has also paved the way for Sprung Festival – an annual hip hop event which celebrates its sophomore year in 2012.

“Sprung do try and balance it out so they have the more commercial and the more established artists from the underground. I know they do try to make it nice and even so you get a diverse crowd at the gig.”

Bias B plays Sprung Festival at the RNA Showgrounds Saturday November 10.

Monday, 17 September 2012 10:18

Kelly: Actor Interview

At the ripe young age of four, Leon Cain initially threw tantrums upon joining the Fame Theatre Company, protesting “that’s what girls do”.

However, Leon grew to relish acting and made his on-stage debut with the Queensland Theatre Company at the age of ten.

“My first job with the Queensland Theatre Company was in 1994 or 1995 when I was ten years old and I played Prince Mamillius in Shakespeare’s ‘The Winter’s Tale’,” Leon explains.

“But it wasn’t until when I thought ‘what am I going to do with my life?’ in high school where I realised it was something I cannot not do. It’s interesting because there was a large cast in [‘The Winter’s Tale’] and most [of] the cast in that play I’ve now worked with professionally.”

From playing the Sicilian prince in ‘The Winter’s Tale’ to his Matilda award-winning role as Johnny in ‘I Love You, Bro’, Leon enjoys acting because every performance offers a new challenge.

“I definitely would prefer that my career would cover a diverse range of roles – that’s the fun thing about acting and one of the reasons I like doing it. Even though the financial security is rubbish, the good thing is you don’t get bored because when you do get jobs, every job is likely to be completely different. I don’t have the looks to do the same character over and over.”

Leon plays Dan Kelly – brother of Ned – in playwright Matthew Ryan’s controversial interpretation of Australian history entitled 'Kelly', which premieres this weekend.

“There’s three different guys [who claimed to be Dan Kelly] and the one which we based our story on, James Ryan, was a man based in Ipswich. In our story, Dan escapes and goes north but because of guilt, he feels like he needs to get Ned’s blessing before he's executed. Dan disguises himself as a priest and goes in to talk to Ned the night before his execution, and that’s where the play begins.”

‘Kelly’ runs from until October 20 at the Cremorne Theatre, QPAC.

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