Aus hip-hop pioneer trials steps out with his debut solo single, i'm a fkn wreck
One of Australia's most brilliant names in hip-hop moves into the spotlight, teaming up with Portland rapper Daniyel for the occasion.
Header image by Morgan Sette.
It's tough to find a more coveted and acclaimed name in Australian music as trials. As one-half of A.B. Original (alongside the path-paving Briggs), trials has already played a major part in defining the sounds and faces of Australian hip-hop throughout the last decade, and when you add his work behind-the-scenes into the mix, that only becomes more evident - the musician establishing himself as a go-to collaborator across a broad mix of genres, from Hilltop Hoods and Illy through to Paul Kelly, DZ Deathrays, Dune Rats and Dr G Yunupingu.
It's important to mention, because as a Ngarrindjeri man from Coorong in South Australia, trials' contribution to the depths of Australia's ever-changing music and culture has seen him not just become one of Australia's most prominent names, but also one the country's most influential. He elevates everyone around him with every move he makes; his prowess and skillset allowing some of the country's most notorious names to blossom, while others use him as a source of inspiration - his status as an Indigenous man found behind many of the country's biggest records something others can latch onto for hope, especially those who experience hardship in the music industry because of their background.
Now, however, after such a long time spent elevating others and playing an important part in Australia's musical culture behind-the-scenes, it's now time for trials to enter the spotlight. Today, we welcome the launch of his solo project with its first-ever single in I'm a fucking wreck, and what an entrance it is. It's a moment that feels built from years of collaboration and skill-growing, capturing all the lessons and learnings from trials' long-winding journey thus far and distilling it into a project that feels like a blossoming of a moment - one worth celebrating, too.
And what a celebration it is. I'm a fucking wreck is trials at his best, bringing together an invigorating beat that stands tall from his discography and using it as a blend of cross-genre, cross-continental hip-hop and R&B; his distinctly Australian touch ricocheting off the more US-aligned rap sound of Portland rapper Daniyel. Together, they create something that builds from contrast; crisp production and bounding melodies moving against intimate storytelling and reflective songwriting, carved from a collaborational process made endlessly more difficult with the current situation.
"From the records we were already working on together, I knew his range was boundless," trials says, enlisting Daniyel after working together on the US rapper's own material. "He has such a rare tone I’ve never worked with before. It spoke to me immediately. The pockets he picks, the way he conveys emotions through subtle and overt styles: pain, promise, desire, you can feel what he’s saying through every one of his lyrics." It's something that really shows on i'm a fucking wreck, and something that shows in a way that doesn't make it feel like a cross-continental collaboration worked on across emails and calls.
The single also comes alongside a video shot in LA and directed by Manny Madrigal, starring Daniyel in the spotlight. It's a celebratory, bright-eyed moment that really reflects how big of a moment this is not just for trials but for Australian hip-hop as a whole, and we can't wait to see what else trials has in store.
In the meantime, however, take a dive into i'm a fucking wreck below:
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