It’s been over a year since Bankrupt Billionaires dropped their debut EP. Now they’re back with a bag of new tricks and a performance not to be missed this weekend.
Brisbestfest – pieced together by the Billionaires own vocalist Kel Timmons aka Kel on Earth – boasts a day of aerosol art, markets, and a sizzling line-up of local hip hop acts. Timmons is elated at the opportunity to bring the event to West End.
“I like it because it's very grassroots and community — it's crew. To me it's just all my favourite people put together and they happen to be amazing artists. This is during the day on a gravel pit, with aerosol art everywhere.”
When it comes to organising street culture initiatives, Kel says it’s very much a community effort.
“You really have to do it yourself, you can't fully rely on some venues and councils like you can in places like Melbourne. It's really hard to get things off the ground so you have to be really passionate, but people are there to support it and people are down. We've thrown this all together off the back of next to no budget, so it's very much an artist initiative.”
It’s a culture that Timmons has been involved with for many years, and continues to flourish with events like Brisbestfest. But she explains how she was first motivated to refine her hip hop sound for the Bankrupt Billionaires.
“I'm really into a lot of nu-soul, and in particular some of the underground stuff; specifically Georgia Anne Muldrow, who's probably my biggest influence. I did jazz for a long time and still do, it's kind of my paper maker. I'm totally influenced by all singers of that genre, and because I've also got a hip hop sensibility, I like to think I put a new edge on beats.”
BB are close to releasing a record of their own, a prospect that Timmons says is well overdue.
“It’s about 95 percent done. It's sitting there at the moment and we're just chasing a few back-up singers for vocals. Some of the songs are close to four years old, so we're excited to get them out there.”
Bankrupt Billionaires headline the all-ages Brisbestfest, 2 Edmonstone St. West End June 29 from 2-8pm.