Review + Snaps: Novelist | Oxford Art Factory, Sydney

Written By Meshell Webb on 04/12/2016

It’s easy to assume that Grime is just a hyped up phase and that music nerds will soon be rolling on to the next big thing but artists like Lewisham’s Novelist are coming to our shores to smack those assumptions right out of your big thick head.

The 19 year old rapper just completed his debut Australian tour to sold out crowds, closing things on a serious high at Sydney’s Oxford Arts Factory. A Novelist show is a high octane aggressive affair, when we say aggressive however we mean it in the best sense of the word. Punters flailing about, smacking limbs into anything within their collision course, bodies slamming together mid-jump…sweat pouring from brows beneath very “fashurn” caps and hoodies. All of this may sound a little off putting though the reality is it’s anything but. The camaraderie between fans is strong as Australians and Brits alike join together to celebrate the fierce freestyle of the hottest young Grime artist about (sorry Stormzy).

Novelist clearly thrives on his crowds energy and “flavour” as he calls it. A few songs in and he’s as slick with sweat as his crowd and loving every moment. There is great playful back and forth between him, the audience and his DJ who seems to really enjoy cutting the song mid-verse just to see is Novelist is really paying attention. These kinds of shows have a huge amount of repetition but nobody seems to mind. He performs multiple versions of fan favourites like 10/10, Shook and Mumdance collaboration 1 Sec. Novelist stands apart from his contemporaries for his excellent choice in collaborative partners like the aforementioned Mumdance, it gives his sound a particular edge.

Our biggest lesson from last Saturday however was that take away the lights, music and fanfare of the show and Novelist is still more than capable of tearing a room up. He shared some pretty special moments of spontaneous freestyle (unaccompanied) with his fans and it’s pretty safe to say that Novelist will be welcomed back ANYTIME he decides to tour.

Photos by Brayden Smith (BCS Imaging)