14 March | 12 - 10pm
15 March | 12 - 6pm
World-class performers for a weekend of entertainment.
Acclaimed musical storytellers feature alongside up-and-coming moving and shakers, blending bilingualism with head-bopping beats and soulful strumming. The electrifying Masala Music Festival showcases the extraordinary talent found in the cultural hotbed of Western Sydney and beyond, bringing together celebrated acts who have lit up stages on Australia’s biggest festivals, as they share unique perspectives on their diverse backgrounds and contemporary Australia.
From spellbinding stories of cultural self-discovery, to groovy tunes blending traditional and modern sounds, the Masala Music Festival promises extraordinary performances across three festival days.
Los Amigos Invisibles (Headline/Opening Night Act – 13 March)
Headlining the Masala Music Festival is one of one of the world’s most legendary party bands: the Grammy Award-winning Venezuelan group Los Amigos Invisibles.
Having been described as the “global joyride of the year,” Venezuela’s renowned sextet Los Amigos Invisibles (“the invisible friends”) have been trailblazers of hybrid Latin dance music for nearly twenty years. Starting out as a group of boyhood friends from Caracas, they have steadily built up an international legion of devoted fans, swept up by their energetic combination of groovy funk, driving Latin rhythms and big city beats.
With twelve critically-acclaimed albums under their belts, the band are renowned for their explosive live shows, which have taken them across the globe to nearly 60 countries.
Sampa the Great
Being told as a child by that she couldn’t rap with a group of school boys “because you’re a girl” set a determined future course for Sampa the Great. Born in Zambia but raised in Botswana, at age nine she decided to dig deep into this new found love of hip-hop when she first heard 2pac.
With her latest album The Return, Sampa showcases an internationally-minded musical outlook, with references ranging from classic hip-hop and spiritually-minded gospel and chants, to neo soul and ancient Southern African sounds. The album is rounded out by a string of esteemed contemporary collaborators including Stones Throw producer Jonwayne, MsM (Skepta’s Boy Better Know label) and Perrin Moss (Hiatus Kaiyote), plus a collaboration with Ecca Vandal
Since 2018, Melbourne’s Mojo Juju has been on an upward trajectory with no signs of stopping. In the past two years, she has racked up an impressive three ARIA nominations, received rave reviews for her brutally honest title track ‘Native Tongue’ and a J Award for its accompanying video, and earnt a standing ovation at her impassioned Bigsound keynote address that was met with tears and applause.
Her fresh take on blues and soul is built on the drive to tell stories that have conventionally been silenced, rebelling against conventional wisdom about putting off audiences with identity politics. Her songs dive into her family history, facing racism, and what it means to be Wiradjuri, Filipino and queer.
Having been singing since the tender age of eight, Miiesha (pronounced My-ee-sha) is a proud, 20-year-old Pitjantjatjara/Torres Strait Islander woman with a voice ready to be heard. Hailing from the small Aboriginal community of Woorabinda (Central Queensland), Miiesha aims to bring her message, and her community, to the world with her distinct, unforgettable vocals.
Most recently, Miiesha was a smash hit at Brisbane’s iconic BigSound festival, where she captivated audiences with her soothing blend of R&B and soul, even having them collectively singing in Pitjantjatjara for one song, and has warmed up crowds for some of Indigenous Australian hip-hop biggest stars, including Baker Boy, Briggs, and fellow Parramasala artist Adrian Eagle.
It’s not just a figure of speech to say that bilingual Persian rapper CHAII was literally raised by hip-hop - at the age of eight, she was rapping Eminem lyrics before she’d even learnt her first words of English. As she puts it, “Eminem was my English teacher.”
Rapping fluidly between both English and Farsi, CHAII melds influences from traditional Persian music, elements of hip-hop and electronica, producing a uniquely heart-pounding sound that’s found somewhere in another dimension. Her latest single South sees Chaii playfully taking tongue-in-cheek jabs at modern-day social pressures, on top of a heavy Southern Iranian-influenced beat.
An outlier in today’s modern music industry, Adelaide-bred singer-songwriter Adrian Eagle’s music is made for connecting.
Skyrocketing into Australian music consciousness in 2018 with his breakout track ‘17 Again’ (which shares his journey of overcoming suicidal thoughts after weighing a life-threatening 270kg at 17 years old), Adrian toured the globe with his childhood heroes Hilltop Hoods after his guest appearance on their ARIA Award-winning single ‘Clark Griswold’, winning over audiences with his message of positivity.
The past year has seen Adrian embarking on his biggest headline tour to date, riding on the smash hit success of his inspiring modern-day anthem ‘A.O.K.’ which earnt an ARIA nomination for Best Soul/R&B Release. A vibrant slice of street gospel, classic rap drums, and his stirring trademark vocal delivery, the track is reflective of changes in Adrian’s life after conquering his own demons through the power of music, dignity and mindfulness.
For Temgazi, music has always been a driving passion. As a child, she remembers writing “random catchy hooks” instead of doing schoolwork or playing with other kids. Perhaps this strong creative streak should come as no surprise - her grandfather Joseph Shabalala was the founder of Grammy Award-winning South African choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
2019 was a massive year for Temgazi – besides a guest feature on multi-platinum selling artist Timomatic’s single ‘Wait in Vain’, and a well-received Bigsound showcase backed with a full band and dancers, the South African/Swazi lyricist supported Indigenous hip-hop star Briggs on his sold out ‘Life is Incredible’ tour, with her Afro-pop hit ‘Talk That Talk’ featured on multiple Apple and Spotify curated playlists.