Brisbane seven-piece Astro Travellers have taken out the 2016 Hilltop Hoods Initiative.
The live hip hop group was recently awarded Best Urban Song at the Queensland Music Awards for their track Move Actively and had their single Future Supernova added to Double J’s playlist.
Astro Travellers will receive a $10,000 grant from Hilltop Hoods and APRA AMCOS which they will use to master, manufacture and promote their debut album. Their prize also includes legal advice from Media Arts Lawyers and a Love Police ATM merchandise start-up kit.
“We are absolutely stoked to be the recipients of the 2016 Hilltop Hoods Initiative,” said band member Rohan Seekers. “It means a lot for Astro Travellers to be recognised by those who have done so much for hip hop in this country. We have been working hard this year, and receiving this prize will only motivate us to work harder to make the music the best it can be. Funding from the Initiative will make our vision for our next release a reality, and I think it will still feel surreal when we’re holding the wax in our hands.”
Now in its 11th year, the Hilltop Hoods Initiative has supported the work of past winners including Sarah Connor, Jimblah, Chelsea Jane, I AM D and RUNFORYOURLIFE.
“We’re so happy that Astro Travellers have taken out the Initiative this year. The band have a ridiculously soulful sound that takes me back to late 90s West Coast hip hop, but somehow manages to sound fresh and new,” Suffa from Hilltop Hoods.
“As always, thanks to our judges who year after year generously commit their time and effort in order to support emerging artists, and of course thanks to our partners at APRA AMCOS who have been so supportive of the hip hop community in Australia.”
Dean Ormston, Head of Member Services at APRA AMCOS, congratulated Astro Travellers on their win.
“APRA AMCOS is invested in the future of music, and partnering with Hilltop Hoods to deliver the Initiative is one way we can give emerging songwriters a leg-up. Astro Travellers clearly have a huge amount of talent, and we can’t wait to hear more from them.”
Entries were judged by a panel of key figures in Australian hip hop including Hau, Nish, Ran-Dee, Raph and Tom Thum.