In February, Timbaland reacted to Aussie rapper KIRKLANDD‘s music on TikTok. What happened next is the definition of hustle. 

It’s been a steady grind for Canberra-based KIRKLANDD, who calls himself a “punk rapper”. He began releasing music back in 2014 having been a keen songwriter and instrumentalist from a young age. With one EP and four official singles under the KIRKLANDD moniker, he’s been building his sound for a while, becoming an established local artist and collaborating with artists such as Lil Spacely.

Inspired equally by rappers like Nas and rock bands like Rage Against the Machine, receiving a co-sign from a famed producer who’s worked with both would have felt like an unrealistic dream a few years ago for KIRKLANDD.

But not anymore.

Prior to February, KIRKLANDD had sent Timbaland three songs from his upcoming debut mixtape, hoping the producer would play it on one of his livestreams in which he regularly reacts to up-and-coming artists.

Once he started playing KIRKLANDD’S music on the livestream one day, the 4x Grammy winner (who’s worked with the likes of Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, Rihanna, and many more) exclaimed that “Kanye [West] would definitely like this type of shit,” encouraging the Aussie rapper to send through more music, adding that his music was of the standard he’d play for Pharrell.

Clearly loving what he heard, Timbaland even pleaded for KIRKLANDD to “come to America.”

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It wasn’t the first time KIRKLANDD’s had notable names react to his music – T-Pain listened to his track “Knowbody” during a Twitch stream back in 2021 – but this time, the energy was different.

With little time to think and a blazing hot opportunity burning in his face like wildfire, KIRKLANDD booked the next flight to Texas, and then surprised Timbaland by pulling up and giving him his mixtape on vinyl.

In shock, Timbaland confirmed that he’d been reworking “Can’t Keep Calm”, one of the unreleased tracks which been sent through, meaning that there would be likely a Timbaland-produced version sometime in the near future. While there, KIRKLANDD was even invited to perform his unreleased track “ECHÖ!” on Timbaland’s show, Room 757, which you can watch below.

It’s quite the co-sign for KIRKLANDD. Timbaland is recognised as one of the greatest producers in modern music, playing a large role in the direction of pop music, hip hop, and R&B, particularly during the 2000s, working with some of music’s greatest artists in the world throughout his illustrious career. But despite all of that, he’s notably never worked with an Australian artist until now.

Back on home soil with a once-in-a-lifetime story to tell, stay tuned for KIRKLANDD’s debut mixtape rollout which will begin with “ECHÖ!”.

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