First Look: The International Artists Playing Sugar Mountain 2018

Melbourne’s exclusive arts and music festival Sugar Mountain is coming in hot this January, so we’re taking a gander at all the freshest imports on the lineup. From genre-bending DJs worth drenching yourself in other people’s sweat for, to the slickest producers and hip hop artists making waves at the moment, Sugar Mountain is bringing a whole lot of cool to the VCA on what is likely to be a hot hot day. Here are some of the internationals you can expect to see on Saturday 20 January – we’ll take a closer look at the local legends playing soon.


UK DJ Actress provides thick afro-futuristic sounds for any mood with his sweaty and surprising sets. Providing the grooves everywhere from Barcelona to Tokyo, the prolific DJ has also collaborated with visual artists to create stunning live shows.

Living up to his name, Actress has starred in a unique cinematic portrait filmed by Pierre Debusscher, and if that’s not enough he’s made a name for himself as one of the hottest A&R scouts of the bass generation.

Eclair Fifi

Young Scottish DJ Eclair Fifi began surprising listeners with her eclectic music taste when she released her first mixes on pirate radio at the age of 16. Since then she’s grown to host the In New DJs we Trust residency on BBC Radio 1 among other shows, airing to over 1million live listeners every week.

As well as producing energetic bangers taking influence from Latin Freestyle, Italo, techno, hip hop and RnB, Eclair Fifi is a model and illustrator, but she’s making even bigger waves breaking unknown artists from her platform.

J Hus

Not just afro-beat hip-hop, J Hus’s unique bangers take in his eclectic surroundings, combining dancehall, grime, rap, garage and R&B to create his own distinctive style. Having just released his debut album Common Sense earlier this year, J Hus’s catchy tracks are littered with humour as he cheekily shares tales of his prowess in barely understandable East London slang. Not only is he at the forefront of his scene, he created it, and the bizarre range of influences has never sounded so natural.

Jamila Woods

Jamila Woods has just released her debut album HEAVN, a collage of poetry, minimalist soul and post-punk influences, mingling to create a collection of non-traditional love songs. Her smooth voice has been heavily featured in the hip hop, jazz and soul worlds, and now we get an understanding of her own deep, honey rich world. Full of passion, both crushing and uplifting lyrics and a whole heap of groove, Woods’ tunes are as appropriate on the dancefloor as they are the next morning.

Joey Bada$$

Brooklyn independent hip-hop artist Joey Bada$$ spits out fierce and authentic raps over some fresh beats, always revising his sound and taking risks to make sure his tunes are raw and original. His latest album ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$ features collaborations from massive hip-hop talents including J. Cole, ScHoolboy Q and Styles P, cementing his place amongst the scene’s elite.

Laurel Halo

Berlin-based DJ Laurel Halo has been busy weaving fascinating soundscapes through a range of moods on the four albums she’s put out since her 2012 debut. Minimal and a little bizarre, Halo’s sprawling tracks incorporate vibes from Detroit, the UK and Germany.
A classically trained musician, her mellow dancefloor beats are jazzy and complex, and best served chilled.

Shanti Celeste

Chilean-born, Bristol-based Shanti Celeste has placed herself firmly in the centre of her local house/techno scene, sharing her exemplary music taste through DJing, producing, singing, running a label and promoting. Fusing everything from phased-out house to soaringingly melodic techno, the busy artist specialises in getting you moving to swung and funky rhythms. Her sunny, atmospheric tracks are the perfect thing to lift you through a big day.


With her melancholic crooning voice and experimental production, Sevdaliza creates an immersive experience through every song. Melting together electronic, punk, triphop, grime and avant-garde sounds, the tracks on Sevdaliza’s debut album Ison, wouldn’t be out of place on a brooding film soundtrack. Rich and sparse soundscapes take turns creating drama as the Iranian composer explores personal and philosophical questions in a fantasy world where anything is possible.