Interview: Baro Sura on Melbourne’s rap scene and SorBaes: Double Dip!

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Interview: Baro Sura on Melbourne’s rap scene and SorBaes: Double Dip!

Baro Sura
Words by Benjamin Lamb

The talented artist joins some of the coolest performers in the Melbourne scene for SorBaes: Double Dip!

The brain-child of designer/DJ Soju Gang, SorBaes: Double Dip! is delivering some of the best in Melbourne’s hip-hop scene to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl stage. The line-up features Jerome Farah, Kira Puru, Baro Sura and many more, and we caught up with the latter to chat all about it.

The Aussie rap scene is in a very different place than it was a decade ago. We’ve seen several performers come forward with music that’s new, different and exciting, pushing the boundaries of mainstream attitudes towards hip hop, and forging a new reputation for the Australian scene abroad. Artists like Baro Sura, Kwame and Genesis Owusu are incorporating sounds from a bevy of different genres, which has led to an influx of artists into the genre, each as exciting as the last.

What you need to know

  • SorBaes: Double Dip! is being held at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl
  • It features a selection of Melbourne’s coolest up-and-comers
  • It’s happening on March 13 from 4pm. Tickets are $15

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around Melbourne here.

Baro notes that due to heavyweights in the global rap scene not sticking to stereotypes in the genre, there’s a box that has been metaphorically broken, which has led to a great deal of performers forcing their way into Australia’s collective consciousness.

“I feel like I’m seeing a lot more good rap acts come out now in Melbourne and Australia,” Baro says. “I feel like now the public and the industry have a lot more space for rap music, and they’re better at judging what’s good and what’s not.

“There seem to be less boxes, ever since we’ve had performers like Tyler, The Creator, Mac Miller, Frank Ocean and Earl Sweatshirt. They’ve taken that box away, rap being one thing, whereas something like rock, it’s a lot more traditional, and there are a lot more constrictions.”

After years away from live shows, many music lovers have found solace in the lyrics of hip hop. The Australian scene is becoming renowned for a constant stream of tracks, so heavily interwoven with emotion and energy, that it’s leading many fans to connect to artists on a recorded level, in a similar way to how they may have at live stages. There seems to be a change in audiences when playing shows in this post-covid world, and Baro’s seen it firsthand.

“Four or five years ago, people would be watching with their arms crossed and just nodding their heads,” Baro adds, “but the other week I performed, and it was really fun. People were dancing and just doing their thing so fearlessly.

“I really hope this energy continues into this new era of music.”

Many of these artists appearing on the SorBaes: Double Dip! bill haven’t had an opportunity to play a stage as big as the Bowl before, which would mean a complete re-calibration of material for many other genres, but as Baro notes, the depth of rap music allows for it to carry across any stage.

“Whether I’m going to be rapping to 10,000 people or 30, I’m still going to have the same energy,” he notes. “My music’s very intimate, and I’m going to present it like that whether I’m on a big stage or not.

“If I’m playing a set at a venue, then it should work at any.”

Baro will be joined by a selection of amazing genre-bending performers at SorBaes: Double Dip! including Barkaa, Jerome Farah, Kira Puru, Lay, Mulalo, Young Rorty, as well as talented DJs Mirasia, Smilez, Soju Gang and Swerv.

The strong camaraderie between members of the local rap scene means there’s a palpable sense of community, respect and appreciation on the line up, and after years of being physically separated from their audiences and themselves, it’s a great opportunity for reconnection on all levels.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Mirasia, she’s real sick, and I’m also excited to see Soju Gang. I haven’t seen her DJ in a minute,” Baro continues.

“We used to see each other everywhere in pre-lockdown times, then we obviously stopped going out and to events when everybody did. Now to come back to music at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, we’re going straight to the deep end. I’m so excited just to be in that environment.”

One thing is abundantly clear about Baro Sura’s music; it’s an experience. Audiences shouldn’t go in with any expectations, he wants audiences to connect to the words he’s saying in the present.

“I’m from the school of Mac Miller and Tyler, those artists that may or may not be rap or hip hop. I try different things, it goes so many other places,” he says.

“I just hope people can come in and watch with an open mind and appreciate how much thought and hype is put into this, because it’s a lot and I really care about this shit.”

Connect with Baro Sura and many more at SorBaes: Double Dip! It’s happening on March 13 as part of Live at the Bowl. Grab your tickets here.