We’re excited to announce that the next two artists to be highlighted as part of Apple Music’s Up Next Local series are Elsy Wameyo and 1300.

Apple Music’s Up Next Local series is dedicated to identifying and showcasing up and coming talent across Australia and New Zealand, hand-picked by Apple Music editors from around the world.

Australian born and based artist Elsy Wameyo has been releasing music since 2018, but her direction took a turn in 2020 with album ‘Nilotic’, which aimed to raise awareness around the Black Lives Matter movement and make it relevant to Australia.

“Every scroll was another Black boy dying,” Wameyo told NME. “As soon as I got off my socials, I’d chat with my family and something else has happened back in Kenya. There was always something, and it pushed me into a corner where I just had to experience it; I had to go through what the world was giving us, I couldn’t run away.”

“It’s one of those things where as much as it’s happening in the US,” she reflects, “a lot of these things are happening in Australia – Australia just knows how to hide it.

“That’s really how the journey of ‘Nilotic’ started; after drowning in so much sadness, [I was] really just crying to find a way to just be at peace again.”

1300 is a Korean Australian out made up of producers Nerdie and pokari.sweat and vocalists rako, goyo and DALI HART. The group has carved out their own individual style and switch from Korean to English throughout their songs.

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“Sometimes if you say something in English it sounds more natural and vice versa,” the group told triple j.

“Depending on the feeling the word would give, we would switch it around. Sometimes it’s even because of the rhyme. We try to keep it flowing.

We spoke to both Elsy Wameyo and 1300 as part of our Apple Music Up Next Local series to get their thoughts on everything from the global pandemic to the driving force behind their music and much more.

Elsy Wameyo

Check out Nilotic by Elsy Wameyo:

Elsy Wameyo artist page on Apple Music

What is one thing that has helped keep you going during the global pandemic?
During the pandemic I started working out with Sol Generation (A Kenyan music label) and I didn’t realise until now how crucial joining that program was for me. It was a Zoom session held for people around the world to come together and train physically and mentally. I met so many cool, wise and talented people. Having that time available to communicate with them during a global lockdown definitely helped me cope. Interestingly enough, the Nilotic EP was born from a conversation I had during one of these sessions. That then made a way for my production journey which also kept me quite busy.

Take us through how you developed your music style?
The development of my music I’ll say happens constantly, consciously and subconsciously through the conversations and experiences I have.

In the beginnig It was a lot of trial and error. I started creating with no real purpose in mind. I was a feature artist for a very long time and said yes to singing everyone’s chorus’. After a while I began yearning to have a voice of my own. I started writing my own music which drew from personal experiences. From here, it became authentic. My vision, words and melodies had a meaning to it. However, I still found I wasn’t quite fulfilling what my heart was yearning for.

During my first few single releases, I was working with producers and I would sit back and watch them produce the tracks that I’d write to. During these sessions, I had always heard and felt the beats I dreamt of singing on but could never translate it to anyone. The dream of producing my own tracks always lived within me but I never knew where to start.

Flash forward to 2020 where I bought my home studio and started producing for myself. It all happened during the lockdown which was the perfect time for me. No distractions, just Elsy with her mind full of endless ideas. It took many months reading, listening, watching and learning about the world and myself. I had to take time to journey and dig deeper within my mind, emotions and experiences. After I found the gold and diamonds, I took time to polish and present it in a way the world could see its true beauty.

What do you see as your secret weapon when it comes to your music?

I work with the Holy Spirit. This is no secret, I put God first and truly that’s what guides me. This is a very personal journey and I find most of my strength is drawn from that relationship. I allow Him to guide me and speak for me, I’m simply just a vessel. The reason it acts as a “secret weapon” is because not many artists draw from this well.

Tell us about your latest single; how it started, what it’s about, and anything else you’d like to share about it. 

River Nile was born after I completed Nilotic. If I didn’t go through the pain of writing Nilotic, I wouldn’t have had the joy of producing River Nile. I had come from a place of feeling so weak and powerless and the only way out was finding strength and confidence. After I found that, I psyched myself up until there was no stopping me.

River Nile was my journey to freedom. I had spent such a long time piecing the puzzles and fighting all the wrong battles. I tried to fix a world that I could barely understand and spent seven months crying and wondering why I was stuck. I later came to learn that it was not going to be by my physical capabilities, but through the spirit that lives within me. Through prayer and supplication I found myself at a place of surrender. I stepped aside, put away my weak mortal self and decided to partener with the one who’s wisdom surpassed my understanding. It was at that moment that everything changed.

Only after my obedience and true faith was the greatness and power made known to me. It had always been there, I just failed to see it. Once I was intune with the spirit, I knew it was done, I found my escape route to freedom.

I know who I am and no man can ever take that away from me.

What are five attributes you think an artist needs to have in order to have career longevity in this music industry?
In no particular order :
Passionate: You must have a big passion for what you do otherwise, very soon you’ll burn out and have no reason to continue.
Authentic: Be true to yourself, there’s no use in being a copy paste of someone else because who’s going to be you?
Consistent: Consistency is key, make it a habit to do all those little things that no one ever wants to do.
Hard Working: You must be ready to work hard, there’s no other way.
Kind: Good character is crucial (for everybody) regardless of what you do. It’s really hard for someone to like a mean person.

Why do you make music? What’s your great big ‘why’?
There’s a little black girl out there who doesn’t like her hair, is being bullied because of her skin colour and the way she talks. She can’t comfortably eat her mother’s cooking at school, nor can she put her hand up to speak. She has been told that she’s not pretty enough, smart enough and that whatever she has to offer doesn’t matter. She can’t freely laugh out loud, speak her language or express herself. Everyday she cries and patiently waits for someone to save her.

That’s why I make music

What’s something that you’re really excited about right now?
I’m truly excited to have released my debut EP. I’ve dreamt of these days for so long and it’s finally here. I’m even more excited because it’s such a great project. It beautifully tells the story of who Elsy Wameyo is and how she views the world through her lens.

If we gained access to a few songs you have on repeat at the moment, what would we find?
I’m constantly dancing to piano everyday, so it’d look something like this:
Umlando (feat. Sir, Trill, Sino Msolo, Lady Du, Young Stunaa & Slade)
Zula Zula (Hub Way) [feat. Acutedose]
Selema (Po Po) – Musa Keys
Ngixolele (feat. Boohle)
Vula Mlolo – Musa Keys

What’s something your fans don’t know about you, but you want to share with them?
Elsy Wameyo is very indecisive and this may just be the reason why you’re only hearing her debut EP now but she’s working on it everyday. Please give me tips if you ever meet me.

What does Apple Music’s support through Up Next mean to you?
I’m honoured, it makes me happy to have support from a streaming platform I use everyday.


Check out Foreign Language by 1300:

What is one thing that has helped keep you going during the global pandemic?
Making music through discord was pretty much our lockdown life. We met online everyday and made a couple of tracks per day. It turned out to be surprisingly effective and really helped us get through the pandemic.Take us through how you developed your music style?
All five of us have very different sources of inspiration. The music we love varies from K-Pop, HipHop, RnB to UK garage. We use these influences as tools to create the sounds we love.What do you see as your secret weapon when it comes to your music?
Having five different minds to work with is definitely one of our secret weapons. It can be challenging at times but when all of us agree on something, we know we’re headed in the right direction.Tell us about your latest single; how it started, what it’s about, and anything else you’d like to share about it. 
Rocksta was a beat produced by Nerdie and pokari.sweat. It started like any other beat, but all five of us in the room were instantly nodding our heads and knew this was going to be a good one. The energy is high and it’s a track that makes you feel like a rocksta.Why do you make music? What’s your great big ‘why’?
The only reason we started making music was because it was fun. We love the process of creating. Now we get to share this experience on stage with the audience, which is a huge reason why we love making music at this point.

What’s something that you’re really excited about right now?

We have a mixtape called Foreign Language coming out on the 29th of April. It’s a collection of songs mostly made during the lockdown period and we’re very excited to share some of our favourite songs with our friends and fans.

If we gained access to a few songs you have on repeat at the moment, what would we find?

You would find a whole lot of different genres. Some would include: STAYC, The Blackskirts, Paul Blanco, Cookii and Machine Girl.What does Apple Music’s support through Up Next mean to you?
The support from Apple Music’s Up Next is awesome. It’s crazy because when we started the group, we had no idea that we would receive this kind of support from Australia. In all honesty, we still need time to process everything because it has been such a wild ride. We really appreciate all the love and support. It keeps us going. Thank you.

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