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Band Hip-Hops

Band Hip-Hops

Who: Black Christmas
Where: University of Newcastle Conservatorium Hall
When: Wednesday October 20, 1999

THEY may not have won the University Campus band competition grand final but Newcastle University-based hip hop group BLACK CHRISTMAS have attracted the attention of Sydney record label TROY HORSE. Playing at the VIRTUAL BEACH PARTY next Wednesday, October 20, Black Christmas impressed representatives of the label who were present at the grand final as sponsors of one of the major prizes.

The band, which first gigged during private parties at on-campus accommodation Edwards Hall, is in negotiation for a release of its debut CD through Troy Horse after recording is completed in January.

Members of Black Christmas are all international students from African countries, who have been studying at the university for the past 18 months.

Lead singer KARABO MUSA (left) and rapper TAJ KENOS (right) are both from Botswana, while rapper ALLAN BUSAKA (centre) is from Kenya.

Musa studies psychology, comes from a gospel vocals background and plays piano and organ.

Kenos, studying computer graphics, sings 'ragamuffin', a Caribbean-derived rapping style. He also plays flute and drums.

Busaka, studying environmental science, sings conventional rap-style vocals and plays the organ.

Live, the group is accompanied by two DJs, DJ USER and DJ SWIPER, who mix 'late 80s hip hop' with jazz tracks, as backing to the trio's three-part harmonies.

The group doesn't play instruments live but will use instruments when recording its debut CD in January.

Kenos said the group was aiming for a sound in the same vein as hip hop vocals group THE FUGEES. 'It's kind of like different styles mixed together,' Kenos said.

'Everyone has a different singing style so we did a track that suits each style.'

Kenos said members were attracted to study in Newcastle because they did not want to live in Sydney and were impressed with the institution's academic record.

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