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|Birth name||Tim Levinson|
|Also known as||Urthboy|
|Origin||Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
|Associated acts||The Herd|
Tim Levinson, better known by the stage name Urthboy, is an Australian hip-hop MC and producer from the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, Australia. He is widely known for his successful musical career under the moniker Urthboy, as a founding member of the hip-hop group The Herd and for co-founding the Elefant Traks record label (of which he is the label manager, As of August 2012[update]). Levinson has released four solo albums: Distant Sense of Random Menace (2004), The Signal (2007), Spitshine (2009) and Smokey's Haunt (2012); as well as 6 albums with The Herd.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Music career
- 3 Other musical projects
- 4 Discography
- 5 References
- 6 External links
With origins in the Blue Mountains area of New South Wales, Australia, Levinson's musical career began at an early age, when he was exposed to a broad range of musical styles. In his early years, his older brother, who went on to be a DJ and co-edit a music magazine, continually shared and instilled his eclectic taste in music with his younger sibling, giving Levinson a great taste and appreciation for both old and new music in a wide array of genres.
In 1998, Levinson co-formed Explanetary with three core members: Hermitude's Elgusto and Luke Dubs played keys and drums respectively, while Levinson delivered the vocals. The band also included Realistix on vocals and production, No Mumbles (a.k.a. Nugs) on vocals, Aja Stuart on bass and DJ Alf on cuts. Predominantly hailing from the Blue Mountains, the seven members combined raps with electronic sounds and organic instrumentation, resulting in a distinct jazz-hip hop sound underpinned by raps from all three MCs.
Together, Explanetary released its sole release, the In On The Deal EP, in July 2001. The release was one of the first releases on the Elefant Traks label; however, before the completion of the group's highly anticipated follow-up album, the members of Explanetary went their separate ways. Levinson went on to form the Australian hip-hop band The Herd alongside many other Elefant Traks artists; while Elgusto and Luke Dubs went on to achieve great successes with Hermitude on the Elefant Traks label. Despite the end of Explanetary, many collaborations have occurred since (including "Fallen Giants" from Tales of the Drift, 2005).
Following Explanetary's split, Levinson began his career as a solo hip-hop producer and MC, under the moniker Urthboy.
Distant Sense of Random Menace (2005)
In 2004, Urthboy released his first solo album, Distant Sense of Random Menace. The album was a success and featured songs such as "Come Around" and "No Rider". Urthboy toured the album nationally with Elgusto (acting as DJ) and The Herd's Ozi Batla as co-MC. The music video for "No Rider", directed by Broken Yellow, won the Sunscreen Music Video Award at the Festival of the Sun Music Festival (FOTSUN) in 2005.
The Signal (2007)
After the success of his debut album, Urthboy headed into the studio in 2007 to record his sophomore release, The Signal, with Count Bounce (TZU) and Elgusto (Hermitude). The album was released in July 2007 to much critical praise and cemented Urthboy's place in the growing Australian hip-hop scene.
The first single, "We Get Around", was hailed as “a classic” by Rolling Stone and reached #25 on Triple J's Hottest 100 for 2007. The album received two AIR Charts Award nominations, a Triple J J Award nomination (Triple J’s Album of the Year award) and was shortlisted in the prestigious Australian Music Prize (Best Album 2007).
Significantly, the album was licensed to Motivo Records (among a select few hip hop records from Australia ever licensed overseas) and released late 2007. Urthboy toured Malaysia and Japan in 2008 before locking down for duties with The Herd in Australia.
In August 2009, Urthboy's released his third solo album, Spitshine, to great acclaim. The first single from the album, "Hellsong", received high-rotation on Triple J, and was also the most downloaded track on Triple J that year. The music video for Hellsong was again directed by Broken Yellow, and was an animation composed of more than 7000 hand-drawn images. The clip was animated in Sydney, Christchurch, London, Hungary and Oslo.
The release of Spitshine was followed by two hugely successful tours in 2009 and 2010, in which Urthboy performed to sold-out crowds of over 20,000 people. Once again, Urthboy was shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize (one of the only artists ever nominated twice). In 2010, Urthboy embarked on his first European tour, playing some of the biggest hip hop festivals in the world (Splash, Germany and Open-Air Festival, Switzerland) as well as clubs shows in Germany with Brother Ali, and his first sold-out headline show in London.
Smokey's Haunt (2012)
Levinson's fourth album under the Urthboy moniker, released on the Elefant Traks label, was made available to the public on 12 October 2012. Produced by fellow Australian hip hop colleagues, Count Bounce (TZU) and Hermitude, the album was selected as a "Feature Album" on national Australian radio station, Triple J. Musical artists, Jimblah, Solo and Alex Burnett (Sparkadia), feature as guests on the album Jimblah and Solo appear on a song entitled "On Your Shoulders" (Jimblah also appears on the song, "Glimpses"), and Burnett features on the song, "The Big Sleep". Smokey's Haunt achieved a #14 debut position on the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Album Chart.
In late February 2013, a national Australian tour, in support of the fourth Urthboy album, was confirmed and a live band, featuring drums and keyboard(s)/piano(s), was also announced. Herd member Jane Tyrell was also named as a member of the touring group, while the support acts were identified as fellow Elefant Traks artist Jimblah and One Sixth from Melbourne, Australia. In 2013 Urthboy was announced as the national support for Paul Kelly's 'Spring & Fall' Tour—the selection follows multiple previous collaborations, including Urthboy's 2008 cover of "From Little Things Big Things Grow", and a combined cover of Hunters and Collectors' "Tears Of Joy" in early 2013.
The GetUp Mob
In 2008, as a part of The GetUp Mob, organised by the advocacy group GetUp!, Urthboy released a version of "From Little Things Big Things Grow" (a song originally released by Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly in 1993). The song featured elements of the apology to the Stolen Generations, made by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on 13 February 2008, as well as former Prime Minister Paul Keating's Redfern Speech on 10 December 1992. The song featured Urthboy, Carmody and Kelly, as well as other prominent Australian artists (including Jane Tyrrell and Ozi Batla (both of The Herd), Missy Higgins, Mia Dyson, Radical Son, Dan Sultan and Joel Wenitong). It peaked at #4 on the ARIA singles chart, #2 on both the Australian Chart and Digital Track Chart and raised almost $100,000 for Indigenous health and education programs.
Other musical projects
While pursuing his successful career as a solo producer/MC, Urthboy has also been a longstanding member of The Herd, an Australian hip hop outfit from Sydney. Unusual for a hip-hop group, the Herd have a full live band as well as MC's, which has given their live shows a strong sense of dynamism as well as musicality. The Herd consists of MCs Urthboy and Ozi Batla, Unkle Ho (beats), Traksewt (piano accordion, clarinet and beats), Sulo (beats and guitar), Toe-fu (guitar), Rok Poshtya (bass) and singer, Jane Tyrrell. Their songs often feature politically oriented lyrics.
Elefant Traks was started in 1998 to create a mix-tape as a going-away present for a friend of the artists. They then released an official compilation album, Cursive Writing, followed by another, Food to Eat Music By. Since then, Elefant Traks have signed a plethora of artists/groups and have released over 50 albums.
A number of Elefant artists have been nominated for awards, including The Herd's album The Sun Never Sets at the 2006 AIR Chart Awards, Urthboy's album The Signal which was nominated for the 2007 AIR Charts Awards and was also nominated for the 2007 J Award, and Unkle Ho's album, Circus Maximus, at the 2007 Limelight Awards ('Best World Music Achievement').
The label was nominated for 'Best Independent Label' at the 2006 Australian Dance Music Awards. and won the award of the same name at the 2012 Jägermeister AIR (Australian Independent Record Labels Association) Awards.
- Distant Sense Of Random Menace - Elefant Traks (9 August 2004)
- The Signal - Elefant Traks (14 July 2007) Aus. #65
- Spitshine - Elefant Traks (28 August 2009) Aus. #54
- Smokey's Haunt - Elefant Traks (12 October 2012) Aus. #14
- "Come Around" - Elefant Traks (13 October 2004)
- "Hellsong" - Elefant Traks (15 May 2009)
- "Ready to Go" - Elefant Tracks (20 July 2009)
- "Naive Bravado" feat. Daniel Merriweather (1 June 2012)
- "Knee Length Socks" (Sept 2012)
- In For The Deal - Elefant Traks (July, 2001)
- The Herd - Elefant Traks (2001)
- An Elefant Never Forgets - Elefant Traks (2003)
- The Sun Never Sets - Elefant Traks (2005)
- Summerland - Elefant Traks (2008)
- Future Shade - Elefant Traks (2011)
- Culture of Kings - Volume 2 - Obese Records (2002) (song: "Unify")
- Straight From The Art - Warner Bros. Records (2003) (song: "The Path")
- Trampled - The Elephant Traks Remix Album - Elefant Traks (2006) (songs: "No Disclaimer", "Keep It Relevant", "Take My Hand", "The Last Chance", "Apocalypta", "Can't Breathe", "The Metres Gain", "I Was Only 19")
- Elefant Traks 10th Anniversary Party DVD - Elefant Traks (2009)
- "Beastly" by Upshot (Upshot (2003) Obese Records)
- "Alleys To Valleys" by Hermitude (Alleys to Valleys (2003) Elefant Traks)
- "About To Break" by Upshot (Make It Happen (2004) Creative Vibes)
- "Outlander" by Chasm (Chasm (2004) Awakenings/Inertia Recordings)
- "Shoot From The Hip" by Unkle Ho (Roads to Roma (2005) Elefant/Inertia)
- "Fallen Giants" by Hermitude (Tales of the Drift (2005) Elefant/Inertia)
- "The Wash" by Jase (Beat Hedz Volume 1 (2006) Obese Records)
- "Goin On Tour" by Muph & Plutonic (Silence the Sirens (2006) Obese Records)
- "Done The Sums" by Astronomy Class (Exit Strategy (2006) Elefant Traks)
- "No Matter What Man" by Chasm (Beyond The Beat Tape (2008) Obese Records)
- "Commercial Radio" by The Last Kinection (Nutches (2008) BlackChili Productions)
- "Your Call" by Hermitude (Threads (2008) Elefant Traks)
- "Right Words" by The Tongue (Alternative Energy (2010) Elefant Traks)
- Cyclone (31 August 2012). "INTERVIEW: URTHBOY.". Onion. Rip It Up Publishing. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- Elefant Traks (2011). "Explanetary". Elefant Traks. Elefant Traks. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- "Broken Yellow Music Videos". Archived from the original on 2008-06-21. Retrieved 2008-04-30.
- "Sunscreen 2005 finalists". Sunscreen. Retrieved 2008-04-30.
- 2007 AIR Chart Award nominees
- Australian Music Prize website
- http://ausindies.com.au/awards.html, Australian Independent Record Labels Association Ltd (AIR), 2012
- "Urthboy Smokey's Haunt". triple j. ABC. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
- .Staff Writer (1 October 2012). "URTHBOY – SMOKEY’S HAUNT". Alternative Media Group of Australia. AMG. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
- hillydilly (13 October 2012). "URTHBOY – SMOKEY’S HAUNT". hillydilly. The Swaave Network. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
- "Urthboy – 'Smokey's Tour'". Oztix. Ticket Solutions Pty Ltd. February 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- "Urthboy announces 2013 Smokey's Haunt tour". Triple J. ABC. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- "Paul Kelly hitting the road with Urthboy:". ABC. ABC. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
- "HEADLINE SHOWS CONFIRMED FOR MELBOURNE & SYDNEY!". Frontier Touring. Frontier Touring. December 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- ""From Little Things Big Things Grow" by The GetUp Mob". GetUp!. Retrieved 2008-08-24.
- "Urthboy - Alternative Education". You Plus Me Equals Us. NSW Reconciliation Council. 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2011.
- Edwards, Anna (2008-04-22). "Single samples Rudd, Keating". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 2008-08-20.[dead link]
- "The GetUp Mob - "From Little Things Big Things Grow"". Australian Charts Portal. Retrieved 2008-08-24.
- "Song of Reconciliation debuts at #4". Musichead.com. 2008-004-28. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
- Discog listing Elefant Traks releases
- 2006 AIR Chart Award nominees
- 2007 J Award nominee
- 2007 Limelight Award nominees
- 2006 DMA nominees
- "WINNERS ANNOUNCED – 2012 JAGERMEISTER INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARDS". Australian Independent Record Labels Association. AIR. 17 October 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- The ARIA Report, Issue 908
- The ARIA Report, Issue 1021