Rolling Stone Australia


Future Is Now: POW! Negro


Future Is Now: POW! Negro

For our regular Future Is Now column we profile the hottest artists who are climbing the charts, breaking the Internet or just dominating our office stereos.

SOUNDS LIKE: Dancing your way through a record store, cherrypicking albums from different genres and putting them all in your basket

FOR FANS OF: Fishbone, Saul Williams, Run the Jewels

WHY YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION: POW! Negro's debut EP, Jasmine & Licorice, is as vibrant musically as its multi-coloured artwork suggests: a freewheeling melange of genres ranging from hip-hop to funk to electro to punk and myriad other points in between. Born in late 2015 when vocalist Nelson Mondlane (pictured) was offered a solo gig at Fremantle venue Mojos and drummer Rhys Hussey convinced him to form a band instead, they take their name from a cartoon character creation of Mondlane's. "We were going to draw this character, a superhero," says the MC, who handles the sextet's artwork, "and I was going to be POW! Negro and Rhys was going to be Monster Zero, and it'd be like 'The Adventures of POW! Negro and Monster Zero'. It probably will [happen]."

In 2016, the band won two West Australian Music Awards for Most Popular New Act and Most Popular Live Act as well as the Big Splash band competition. Single "Money For Portraits" was mixed by David Kennedy, who's worked with A Tribe Called Quest, Mos Def and Mary J. Blige.

THEY SAY: POW! Negro have earned a reputation as one of W.A.'s best live bands. "I feel like I've had a good show if I've really connected with the music, I want to say what I'm saying and I can connect with where I was when I wrote [each song]," says Mondlane.

HEAR FOR YOURSELF: The riffy, groovy "Hold My Tongue".


Topics: Future Is Now   Pow! Negro


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