Elefant Traks

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Elefant Traks
Elefant Traks.png
FounderKenny Sabir (Traksewt)
GenreHip hop, jazz, soul, blues
Country of originAustralia
Official websitehttp://www.elefanttraks.com/

Elefant Traks is a record label based in Sydney, Australia, that predominantly releases Australian hip hop music. The label is distributed in Australia by Inertia Distribution.[1]


1998–2008: Formation, The Herd, Urthboy, Horrorshow[edit]

Elefant Traks was started in 1998 by Kenny Sabir (Traksewt);[2][3] Under Sabir's management, the label's first official compilation album, Cursive Writing, was released,[4] and Sabir briefly explained the process in 2011: "For the first compilation, some of the people on there I had never actually even met at the time of release. It was sliding a CD under the door type of stuff. I think that was Richie (Tamplenizza), I didn't meet him."

Sabir eventually enlisted the help of Tim Levinson (Urthboy) to run the administration arm of the label, as the nature of the work was not compatible with his aspirations.[3]

Sabir, Tamplenizza and Levinson became founding members of the Australian hip hop group The Herd,[2] which is also signed to Elefant Traks. Over the first decade of the label's existence, The Herd released four studio albums on the label. Singer Jane Tyrrell joined the band during the recording of the band's third album.[5] Also during this period, Levinson, under the solo moniker "Urthboy", released three albums with the label.

2009–2011: 10th Anniversary, Joelistics[edit]

In November 2008, Elefant Traks celebrated its 10th Anniversary with an event held at The Forum venue in Moore Park, Sydney.[6]

Joelistics, an MC with Australian hip hop band TZU, joined the label roster in early 2011, prior to the release of his first solo album, Voyager.[7] After the announcement, Ozi Batla stated: “We’ve been mates for ages—we’ve shared a lot of creative, outrageous and funny times—it feels like Joelistics is already part of the fam[ily], he’s a natural fit for Elefant Traks and the album is sick.”

2012–2013: Jimblah, Sky'High, Dr Seuss tribute, 15 Year Anniversary[edit]

As of 2012, the label had signed six musical acts and released over 50 albums since its inception.[8] In September 2012, the label announced a new signing.[9][10] Jimblah, an Aboriginal Australian producer, MC and singer, was revealed as the new Elefant Traks artist. Levinson explained being introduced to Jimblah's music in an October 2013 blog post:

The moment Jimblah stopped me in my tracks was with his debut album Face the Fire ... I clearly remember ... tears welling up in my eyes as I played the title track—and its heartbreaking outro ... That moment set off a chain of events that included Jimblah enthusiastically agreeing to join up with Elefant Traks.[11]

On 11 November 2012, the label performed a tribute to children's author Dr. Seuss. Featuring over 25 musical performers, the event occurred at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia.[12][13]

The "15: A Celebration Of 15 Years Of Elefant Traks" anniversary event was announced in early September 2013 and a two-night format is scheduled for only two Australian capital cities—Sydney and Melbourne. The event featured the label's 2013 roster, in addition to the solo debut of singer Jane Tyrrell.[14] In relation to the survival of the label after fifteen years, Kennedy stated that the event is like "a castle in the sky", as it should not have occurred.[15]

2014–2017: One Day, Jane Tyrrell, L-FRESH The LION, B Wise, OKENYO, Joyride[edit]

The Astronomy Class album Mekong Delta Sunrise was released in late April 2014. When asked about what the group wanted to achieve with the album, Kennedy replied:

What we wanted to cover was our experiences of modern Cambodia and the history of the music that we were referencing. We wanted to try and tell some of the story of the Cambodia of the ’60s and ’70s. We had been excited by the songs that we were hearing and it didn’t feel right to rap just anything over it. We wanted for new listeners to understand something about Cambodia and the music.[16]

The "One Day" hip hop collective—consisting of Horrorshow, Jackie Onassis, Spit Syndicate and Joyride—released its debut album Mainline through the Elefant Traks label on 1 August 2014. Mainline ranked in second place on the ARIA albums chart during the first week of its release.[17][18]

Tyrrell's debut solo album, Echoes in the Aviary, was released on Elefant Traks on 17 October 2014. Recorded over a six-month period, the album was co-produced by Tyrrell and features collaborations with Australian band PVT, Dustin McLean (Axolotl, Diafrix), Paul Kelly and Count Bounce.[19] Tyrrell explained after the album was released:

I get really annoyed when people are like, “So what kind of singer are you?” That just seems so limiting to you as an artist—I like to sing operatic, in jazz, soul, blues, I’m up for everything. I wanted to try and showcase that across the album and be a different character for each song and have different instruments ... I just wanted to show that dynamic approach.[19]

A new Elefant Traks signing, L-Fresh The LION, was announced in January 2015. In the promotional video, images of the Sydney suburb of Liverpool are shown, while Levinson recalls his first meeting with the artist, at which he detected a "wisdom" that reminded him of Sabir.[20]

In 2016 Elefant Traks signed OKENYO (Zindzi Okenyo) who released her debut EP THE WAVE on 18th May 2018 featuring 'Woman's World'.[21]

2018–Present: Homeward Bound, 20th Anniversary[edit]

In 2018 Elefant Traks announced their newest signing, Homeward Bound, a new project by Jimblah and Georgia B. Their debut single 'Island' was released in September; a song that showed a different side of both Jimblah and Georgia, who had previously been associated with the former's hip hop releases.[22] Of their new music, Homeward Bound described:

“Ultimately, we want the audience to know that we are open to explore music as a whole, to not be boxed in when it comes down to genres. We are both huge fans of music in general, so we want that to be evident in the music we play with. As more of this first record comes to light, it will become more and more evident of where we gravitate sonically, and that’s quite a big spectrum.”[23]

In October, OKENYO debuted a new single in 'Hang Your Hat' as a follow up to THE WAVE EP, working with longtime collaborator Lionel Towers.[24]

Elefant Traks' 20th anniversary celebrations were announced for November, with an east coast roll out of parties and conversation sessions highlighting the history and legacy of the Elefant Traks label. Artists including Horrorshow, B Wise, The Herd, OKENYO, Jayteehazard, L-FRESH The LION, Homeward Bound and Astronomy Class performed at the ET20 parties held at The Corner Hotel in Melbourne, The Valley Drive-In in Brisbane and at Sydney's Factory Theatre.

The 'ET20' events also incorporated special live shows from Horrorshow, Urthboy and Hermitude. In Sydney and Melbourne, Horrorshow performed with The Metropolitan Orchestra, Hermitude recreated their catalogue with a live band in an intimate environment at Melbourne's 24 Moons and Sydney's Marrickville Bowling Club, while Urthboy celebrated 11 years of his acclaimed record, The Signal, with two exclusive live shows.[25]

Along with the live shows, Elefant Traks also hosted one-off In Conversation sessions in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane - 'The Elefant In The Room'. The sessions, hosted by Coda Conduct, saw Elefant Traks artists including OKENYO, Joyride, L-FRESH The LION, Jane Tyrrell and Ozi Batla, as well as label founder Kenny Sabir, sharing their stories and memories of their time with Elefant Traks.


In response to the proposed dumping of around 3 million cubic metres of dredged seabed onto the Great Barrier Reef,[26] a legal fighting team was formed by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-Australia and the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) in late 2013/early 2014.[27] The legal team received further support in April 2014, following the release of the "Sounds For The Reef" musical fundraising project. Produced by Straightup, the digital album features Elefant Traks artists The Herd and Sietta, in addition to artists such as John Butler, Missy Higgins, The Cat Empire, Fat Freddys Drop, The Bamboos (featuring Kylie Auldist) and Resin Dogs. Released on 7 April, the album's 21 songs were sold on the Bandcamp website.[28][29]


The label was nominated for 'Best Independent Label' at the 2006 Australian Dance Music Awards.[30]

Urthboy's album, The Signal, was nominated for the 2007 Australian Independent Record (AIR) Awards[31] and the 2007 J Award.[32] The Urthboy album, Spitshine, received the 2010 AIR Award for 'Best Independent Hip Hop/Urban Album'.[33]

The Herd won both the Best Independent Artist and Best Urban/Hip Hop Album for 2008 AIR Awards.[34]

The Last Kinection won the "Band of the Year" category at the 2012 Deadly awards.[35]

Both Hermitude ("Best Dance/Electronic" and "Best Video") and The Herd ("Best Urban") were nominated in the 2012 ARIA Awards.[36]

The "Dr Seuss meets Elefant Traks" musical performance was nominated in the "Best Music Event" category of the 2012 SMACS (Sydney Music, Arts and Culture Awards), run by Sydney community radio station FBi.[37]

In 2012, Urthboy and Hermitude were nominated for the 8th Australian Music Prize (AMP) for their respective Smokey's Haunt and HyperParadise albums — it represented the first time that two Elefant Traks nominees were nominated as part of the awards event, while it was the third occasion that Urthboy has been nominated for the AMP. In response to the AMP nomination, Hermitude stated, “We're totally stoked as a predominantly instrumental duo to be short listed for The Amp!”[38][39][40] Hyperparadise was the eventual winner of the 8th AMP.[41]

King Amongst Many was also nominated, alongside Urthboy's Smokey's Haunt, at the 2013 ARIA Awards for "Best Urban Album".[42]

Two Elefant Traks releases appeared in the Full Shortlist for the 9th AMP, which was unveiled at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne, Australia on 26 January 2014. Selected from a Longlist of 43 artists, Horrorshow was nominated for King Amongst Many and Jimblah was nominated for Phoenix. Other artists in the Full Shortlist included Beaches and Big Scary and the judges were presented with an original list of 300 albums.[43]

In 2016, L-FRESH The Lion and Urthboy were nominated in the "Best Urban Album" ARIA Award for their respective records, Become and The Past Beats Inside Me Like a Second Heartbeat.[44]

B Wise's debut album Area Famous was nominated for "Record of The Year' at the 2018 FBi SMAC Awards, to be held in Sydney in February 2019.[45]

Current Artists[edit]


Cat# Artist Title Release Date Notes
ACE001 Elefant Traks Cursive Writing 01/11/1998
ACE002 Various Artists Food To Eat Music By 01/03/1999
ACE003 U.BIN 2.0 01/05/1999
ACE005 Pilfernators Grass Clippings 01/8/1999
ACE006 Explanetary In On The Deal 01/11/1999
ACE007 The Herd An Elefant Never Forgets 01/09/2001
ACE009 The Herd An Elefant Never Forgets 09/02/2003
ACE010 Hermitude Alleys To Valleys 24/08/2003
ACE011 Apsci Get It Twisted 16/11/2003
ACE013 Urthboy Distant Sense of Random Menace 08/08/2003
ACE012 Various Artists The Elefant Collection Vol. 1 15/02/2004
ACE015 Pasobionic Empty Beats For Lonely Rappers 30/04/2004
ACE016 Combat Wombat Unsound $ystem 26/06/2004
ACE018 Unkle Ho Roads to Roma 20/09/2004
ACE019 Hermitude Tales of the Drift 09/11/2004
ACE21.5 The Herd The Sun Never Sets 17/03/2005
ACE023 Various Artists Trampled (Remix Album) 14/07/2005
ACE027 Astronomy Class Exit Strategy 29/09/2005
ACE029 Mista Savona Melbourne Meets Kingston 09/02/2006
ACE031 Unkle Ho Circus Maximus 11/05/2006
ACE032 Urthboy The Signal 13/07/2007 Nominated for the 2007 Australian Independent Record (AIR) Awards[31] and the 2007 J Award.[32]
ACE039 The Herd Summerland 24/05/2008 Won 'Best Urban/Hip Hop Album' in the 2008 Australian Independent Record (AIR) Awards.[34]
ACE043 Hermitude Threads 26/09/2008
ACE041 Horrorshow The Grey Space 15/08/2008 ARIA Award nominated for Urban Album of the Year.
ACE046 Astronomy Class Pursuit of Happiness 01/05/2009
ACE047 Unkle Ho Subterranea 03/07/2009
ACE051 Urthboy Spitshine 29/08/2009 Spitshine received the 2010 Australian Independent Record (AIR) Award for 'Best Independent Hip Hop/Urban Album'.[33]
ACE052 Horrorshow Inside Story 03/10/2009
ACE053 Mista Savona Warn The Nation 20/03/2010
ACE055 Ozi Batla Wild Colonial 14/05/2010
ACE059 Joelistics Voyager 20/05/2011
ACE061 Sietta The Seventh Passenger 22/07/2011
ACE062 The Herd Future Shade 26/08/2011
ACE066 The Last Kinection Next of Kin 28/10/2011
ACE069 Hermitude Hyperparadise 03/02/2012 Winner of the 8th Australian Music Prize (AMP).
ACE076 Sky'High Forever Sky'High 25/05/2012
ACE077 Urthboy Smokey's Haunt 12/10/2012 Nominated for the 8th Australian Music Prize (AMP).
ACE088 Horrorshow King Amongst Many 02/08/2013 ARIA Award nominated for Urban Album of the Year. Shortlisted for the 9th Australian Music Prize (AMP). Nominated for a J Award Album of the Year. Debuted at #2 in the ARIA charts.
ACE090 Jimblah Phoenix 11/10/2013 Nominated for the 9th Australian Music Prize (AMP).
ACE094 Sietta The Invisible River 21/02/2014
ACE098 Astronomy Class Mekong Delta Sunrise 25/04/2014
ACE101 Joelistics Blue Volume 20/06/2014
ACE102 Jane Tyrrell Echoes In The Aviary 17/10/2014
ACE116 Jayteehazard Red Shift 06/03/2015
ACE118 Hermitude Dark Night Sweet Light 15/05/2015
ACE138 Urthboy The Past Beats Inside Me Like A Second Heartbeat 04/03/2016
ACE144 L-FRESH The LION Become 13/05/2016 ARIA Award nominated for Urban Album of the Year. Feature album on FBi Radio, Radio Adelaide and 2SER-FM.
ACE154 B Wise Semi Pro EP 23/09/2016
ACE158 Horrorshow Bardo State 24/02/2017
ACE162 OKENYO The Wave 18/05/2018

Compilation releases[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Elefant Traks". Inertia. Inertia. 20 June 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b Craig Mathieson (16 September 2011). "Eight heads are better than one". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  3. ^ a b Roebuck, Shae. "Elefant Traks - Part One 23.03.11". scene magazine. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  4. ^ Paris Pompor (28 May 2010). "Usher in the cool". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  5. ^ "Artists - The Herd". Elefant Traks. Elefant Traks. 21 October 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Elefant Traks 10th Anniversary Party". inthemix. inthemix Pty Ltd. 22 November 2008. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  7. ^ "Voyager Joelistics". iTunes Preview. Apple Inc. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  8. ^ Elefant Traks (2012). "Home". Elefant Traks. Elefant Traks. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  9. ^ Elefant Traks (5 September 2012). "Who is the new Elefant Traks artist? Watch this & find out..." Facebook. Facebook. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  10. ^ Elefanttraks (4 September 2012). "Who is the new Elefant Traks artist?". YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  11. ^ urthboy (4 October 2013). "Jimblah". Smokey's Blog. Wordpress. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  12. ^ "Dr Seuss Meets Elefant Traks". Sydney Opera House. Sydney Opera House. 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  13. ^ Elefantraks (21 April 2013). "Dr Seuss: Gerald Mc Boing Boing (Recited by the Tongue)" (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  14. ^ Greg Moskovitch (5 September 2013). "Elefant Traks Present 15: A Celebration Of 15 Years Of Elefant Traks". Music Feeds. Music Feeds. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  15. ^ Xannon Shirley (15 November 2013). ""A castle in the sky" - The Tongue on 15 years of Elefant Traks". The Vine. Digital Media. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  16. ^ Will Jackson (2 May 2014). "7 Questions with Shannon Kennedy". The Phnom Penh Post. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  17. ^ Greg Moskovitch (30 June 2014). "One Day Announce Debut Album 'Mainline', National Tour". Music Feeds. Music Feeds. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  18. ^ "9 August 2014" (PDF). The Official ARIA Charts Since 1983. ARIA. 9 August 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  19. ^ a b Jen Ng (21 October 2014). "Interview: Jane Tyrrell – Echoes in the Aviary". Happy. Happy. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  20. ^ "Elefant Traks Announce New Artist: January 2015" (Video upload). Elefant Traks on YouTube. Google Inc. 11 January 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  21. ^ http://pilerats.com/music/rap/interview-okenyo-goes-on-a-deep-dive-into-her-brilliant-debut-ep-the-wave/
  22. ^ "/". The Music. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  23. ^ "Introducing Homeward Bound". Elefant Traks. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  24. ^ "OKENYO keeps it real with new single 'HANG YOUR HAT'". Purple Sneakers. 8 October 2018. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  25. ^ Newstead, Al (31 July 2018). "Hermitude, Urthboy, Horrorshow playing exclusive Elefant Traks 20 years Sideshows". triple j. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  26. ^ Dermot O'Gorman (31 January 2014). "Dredge dumping: just because you can doesn't mean you should". ABC News. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  27. ^ "Home". Fight for the Reef. Australian Marine Conservation Society. 3 March 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  28. ^ "Artists United for the Great Barrier Reef". PBS. Progressive Broadcasting Service Cooperative Ltd. 7 April 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  29. ^ "Sounds for the Reef". Sounds for the Reef on Bandcamp. Bandcamp. 7 April 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  30. ^ Drexciyan (11 September 2006). "2006 Allen&Heath Dance Music Awards nominees announced". inthemix. inthemix Pty Ltd. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  31. ^ a b "Jagermeiater AIR Award Nominees". fasterlouder. FasterLouder Pty Ltd. 19 October 2007. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  32. ^ a b "The J Awards - Nominated Albums: The Signal/Urthboy". triple j. ABC. 2007. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  33. ^ a b "History: 2010 – The Forum Theatre, Melbourne". AIR. AIR. January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  34. ^ a b "History: 2008 – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne". AIR. AIR. October 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  35. ^ Amy Edwards (26 September 2012). "Deadly win for The Last Kinnection". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  36. ^ Andrew (8 October 2012). "News: The Bamboos, Dappled Cities, Adele, Hermitude, Katalyst, and the Herd All Grab Aria Nominations". Inertia Music. Inertia. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  37. ^ "Best Music Event". FBi SMACS. FBi Radio. January 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  38. ^ "Hermitude's Hyperparadise First to Make Short List". The Cooper's AMP – The 8th Australian Music Prize. Cooper's AMP. January 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  39. ^ "Smokey's Haunt". The Coopers Amp – The 8th Australian Music Prize. Coopers AMP. January 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  40. ^ "Urthboy & Hermitude nominated for Australian Music Prize". Elefant Traks. Elefant Traks. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  41. ^ "Winners". The 9th Coopers AMP. Coopers. 2014. Archived from the original on 17 July 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  42. ^ "Aria Awards". www.ariaawards.com.au. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  43. ^ "The Full Shortlist Announced!". The 9th Coopers AMP. Coopers. 26 January 2013. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  44. ^ "Aria Awards". www.ariaawards.com.au. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  45. ^ "Record of the Year". FBi Radio. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  46. ^ "Artists". Elefant Traks. Elefant Traks. 21 October 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014.

External links[edit]