They aren’t ‘Hilary Clinton’, and they certainly aren’t ‘Barb Bush’. While it’s bucketing in Melbourne, Sydney two-piece Jackie Onassis lull about a Brisbane poolside soaking in the sunset. I feel my phone call may have interrupted what would otherwise be considered an ‘idyllic tour moment’ – but this did not bother them.
For those of you who may not be familiar with Jackie Onassis (to whom I suggest you should familiarize yourself) – they are two Sydney high school friends who after a couple of years of “doing [their] own thing”, came together one afternoon at Sydney University’s Manning Bar to create a producer/rapper duo – aptly named after the subject of their American History class that day. “Jackie Onassis is really classy and has a lot of style” Kai, one half of the duo – reflects as he recounts their formation.
Since the well spent afternoon at the Manning Bar, Jackie Onassis have achieved big things. Among these big things are a national tour with Illy, a slot at the Great Escape Festival in the UK, a record deal with Sony, and now their first headline national tour.
Kai and Raph are in day two of said tour – which has so far ran smoothly thanks to the “loose crowds” they had met in Coolangatta the previous night. “Tomorrow night we’re playing in Toowoomba – which has the best mowed grass in Australia!… It’s all like, 1cm tall”. Their excitement is genuine – and rightly so. What better way to celebrate an astonishingly successful year than partying in the pristine lawns of Queensland?
Speaking about Brighton’s Great Escape Festival which they played in May, Kai graciously reflects that “It was really cool playing to British crowds. They really get loose and are really supportive of emerging acts.” They were joined on the bill by fellow Australians Velociraptor and Hungry Kids of Hungary – who they had a jolly time hanging out with while in England.
“Live we’re really influenced by Velociraptor and the energy they put together on stage” – they elaborate on their Australian influences, “Flume’s done some really great stuff as well.” When asked where they tend to collect their samples from, they explained their recent transition from 60s and 70s vinyl to “keeping [their] ears open for new stuff”. Of course, producer Raph makes sure to pair any sample they extract with synth and drums – transforming the sounds into their own.
And at that I left them to enjoy the remaining Brisbane sun before playing at Alhambra lounge that night. If you live in Melbourne you can (and should) catch them at the Worker’s Club this Saturday. They are also playing an election night show in Canberra(!) on, yes, the night of the election – doing Canberrians a service in making the occasion far less drab. If none of this suits you, they are awaiting your eardrums on triple j unearthed. Basically, as some senior comrades in hip-hip once famously put it, Ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out.
By Niamh Crosbie