Since his monumental breakthrough in 2019, West Sydney emcee Hooligan Hefs has been redefining home-grown hip-hop with his street-ready anthems, trademarked with his own unapologetic flair and uniquely brazen style. A newfound pioneer of Australian drill, the Samoan/Chinese artist has routinely gone viral with every release; with five singles landing at #1 on the YouTube trending charts, over 70 million plays on Spotify, and two platinum records. Having collaborated with global stars including Aitch, S1mba and Dimzy, Hefs is one of the few Australian rappers with proven worldwide reach.
Hefs emerged in the West Sydney scene with sporadic releases across 2017/2018, with raw anthems like the oft-quoted ‘Not Guilty (Freestyle)’ causing organic street buzz. After a short stint in prison, Hefs returned in early 2019 linking up with The Area Movement team to drop his first official single ‘The Party’ via all platforms, which fused his hard-nosed raps with UK flavour and hard dance production. It’s a lethal combination that would became a signature for Hefs and an infectious display of his clear crossover abilities, which he utilised once more on follow-up single ‘No Effect.’ To date, ‘No Effect’ has snatched over 8 million YouTube views and 20 million streams on Spotify, and was later certified Platinum. Having proven his ability to appeal well beyond the rap world, Hefs shut down performances at dance festivals like Lost City and indie-driven events like Meredith Music Festival, and was also hand-picked by Spotify to perform at their ‘A1 Live’ event.
Despite his wide-reaching appeal across genres, Hefs showed his ability to command the microphone convincingly on staunch releases like ‘IYKYK’ with Hooligan Skinny, which became a key release in the swelling Australian drill movement. The burgeoning sound was enough to catch the attention of UK heavyweights like Aitch, who recruited Hefs for an official remix of his single ‘Taste (Make It Shake)’ in 2019. Later, UK artist S1mba also handpicked Hefs to remix his hit single ‘Rover’, which was later certified Platinum.
In 2020, Hefs released his highly anticipated debut EP, Living In Sin. On the project, Hefs delves into a more reflective and reserved side of his artistry, working with melodic vocalists and fellow Australian stars like Blueboy and Billymaree. Still, The EP sees Hefs’ brash bars take precedence on tracks like ‘All I Know’ featuring UK drill favourite Dimzy of 67, as well as lead single ‘Party With Gang’ with Hooligan Skinny. The EP debuted at #9 on the ARIA charts, with heavy support from Spotify, Apple and YouTube Music. With the release of his new single ‘SEND IT!’ via ‘db music’, Hefs delivers yet another smash hit that’s best played at festivals, clubs and kick-ons, and one that’ll stay on repeat all summer. ‘SEND IT!’ already has a blockbuster remix in the works that could serve as Hefs’ most iconic and sentimental collaboration yet.
With Hefs having been in the spotlight for just over a year, his achievements read like that of a seasoned veteran. The best is yet to come, and if you were to ask Hefs right now how he was doing, he would say “Tell Em I’m Doing Eetswa”.