Hip-hop, soul, disco revival and a break-dancing grandad - Fusion16 headliners announced

Published: 08 Sep 2016 10:14am

A break-dancing grandpa, a doo-woping sextet, a Riverina soul sister, a hip-hop trio from the big smoke and a chart-topping songstress from New Zealand.

A mix so fabulously-diverse can only mean one thing - it's Fusion16 time.

For the sixth year running, the Civic Centre precinct will burst to life for Wagga Wagga's multicultural street festival Fusion16 on Saturday 15 October.

Headlining this year's festival are dance floor grooving grandad Old Spice, shiny, sugary sweet disco revival crew Sugar Fed Leopards, soul sensation and ARIA award nominated songstress Kylie Auldist, Sydney afro-funk, hip-hop trio True Vibenation and New Zealand born singer, songwriter Aaradhna.

Fusion now attracts 10,000 people, and each headliner is ready to entertain each one of the festival-goers.

"I might be over the hill, but I am also over the moon excited about the Fusion16 line-up," Old Spice said.

Fresh off the back of creating the world's slowest conga line at Splendour in the Grass music festival, Old Spice is looking forward to busting a sweet move in Wagga and getting the crowd on its feet.

"I'll be throwing caution to the wind, my walking stick to the ground, and will be getting down as far as my replacement hip will allow to the sweet beats and soulful tunes of Kylie Auldist, Sugar Fed Leopards and True Vibenation!"

Kylie Auldist can't wait to take to the Fusion16 stage, with the performance a sort-of home coming for the soul sister from the Riverina town of Hay.

"I can't believe I am doing my first ever regional gig so close to home," she said.

"Hopefully I will see some familiar faces. Fusion16 here we come!"

It's been a whirlwind few months for inner-west Sydney hip-hop trio, made up of twins Vuli and Moody and childhood friend Klue, who recently played at the world-famous Glastonbury festival and gigs across Europe.

"We are excited to be coming to Wagga's Fusion16 multicultural street festival for our first show back in Australia in months," Moody said.

Meanwhile, the Sugar Fed Leopards, whose costumes have more sparkle than a shiny disco ball, are looking forward to seeing Wagga's wild side on the dancefloor, and are excited to release the first single off their new second album.

"We are super excited to visit Wagga Wagga for the Fusion festival, no one from the band has been there yet and it's such a good opportunity for us to visit this famous town. I am sure the place will be in fine form for this wild festival," Lead vocalist Sugar Breath, aka Steph Brett, said.

Rounding out the line-up is New-Zealand born beauty Aaradhna, who will bring her old soul rhythm and blues to the Wagga crowds. Aaradhna started writing music at age 11 and her latest EP Brown Girl hit number one in the New Zealand charts.

As well as an impressive line-up of acts from around the country, Fusion16 will again showcase Wagga's array of local talent.

"This year's festival again features eclectic performances and mouth-watering food. There will also be roving performers and free interactive creative art activities for the young and young at heart," Council's Director Environmental and Community Services Janice Summerhayes said.

"Fusion is about celebrating the food, music, art and cultures that mix together to make our community unique and liveable."

Fusion16 will be held on Saturday, 15 October from 4pm to 9.30pm in the Civic Centre Precinct. For more information about this year's festival, visit wagga.nsw.gov/fusion.

Fusion16 is proudly funded and presented by The City of Wagga Wagga and Multicultural NSW in partnership with Multicultural Council of Wagga Wagga, Riverina Community College and major sponsor The Daily Advertiser.


Kylie Auldist

Kylie grew up in Hay, deep in the heart of regional NSW in the Riverina. The release of Kylie's fourth album Family Tree marks a stylistic evolution for Kylie combining her love of contemporary, electronic dance music and influences from the hedonistic, golden age of disco, funk and boogie. Under her own moniker, and as the lead singer for leading Australian soul/funk act The Bamboos, she has toured Australia and the world appearing at venues and festivals including The Jazz Café, The Roundhouse, The Barbican (London), The Blue Note (Japan), Splendour in the Grass, Byron Bay Bluesfest, Falls Festival and Womadelaide.
Contact: Penney & Logan marketing, Tilly Morris, 0418 582 812, tilly@penneyandlogan.com.au

Sugar Fed Leopards

Blazing sextet Sugar Fed Leopards are a glitter comet from the wild side of the disco globe, igniting dance floors with their cosmic cocktail of original disco, soul, doo-wop and hip swinging rock 'n' roll. With smoking hot costumes, sweet harmonies, tight dance routines and a cranking rhythm section, Sugar Fed Leopards have been breaking a disco sweat for the past three years.It all began in Melbourne's concrete jungle, when a rare bunch of renegade cats bonded over their collective sweet tooth for 50's doowop and voodoo rock 'n' roll.
Fronting this caper is Sugar Breath (Steph Brett), fearless leader and vocalist. Joining her are backup babes Lemona Squeeze (Louise Terry) and Coco Caramelle (Carrie Webster) adding syrupy harmonies, Gum Powder Gray (Gray Taylor) on banging rhythms, Davide Dolce (David Bramble) with his fizzy guitar and Kitty Kat (Kat Karvess) getting down low on the bass.
Contact: Steph Brett, 0450 552 431, sugarfedleopards@gmail.com

Old Spice

Old Spice: He's not scary, he's not posh, and he's definitely not a baby. He's old.
And, while he may be retired, he's certainly not retiring. This grandpa knows how to spice up the dance floor and he's going to party like it's 1999 (when he was only 65 years old). Last seen in the Tipi Forest at Splendour in the Grass, Old Spice is excited to be heading to Wagga where he'll be getting down at Fusion16...getting down as far as his replacement hip will allow, that is.
Contact: 0423 283 281, badatmaths@gmail.com

True Vibenation

True Vibenation are misfits. Mash together two Zimbabwean-born twins raised by artist/activist parents, a touch of Kiwi and a good dose of horns and you have a combination you wonʼt find anywhere else in Australia. Over the years, the inner-west Sydney trio, made up of twins Vuli and Moody and childhood friend Klue, have developed a strong following thanks to a live show which revels in making you dance in a semi ʻspecialʼ, unselfconscious way. Their songs combine infectious hooks and razor sharp raps with roaring horns and genre-bending electronic beats. They even have a self-made instrument that literally turns audience members into human drum machines! True Vibes really have created a distinct yet instantly catchy sound all their own.
Contact: Akum Agency, Jess White, jess@akumagency.com


Aaradhna, labelled since age 16 as "The Queen of the Pacific", took out the #1 single, New Zealand album and pop album at the recent RIANZ awards. Her Australian tour in support of Kylie Auldist this October and November follows touring in Singapore and the United Kingdom and is a welcome return to the stage following her successful Australian shows earlier in 2016. Aaradhna is an old soul, rhythm and blues songstress who has a magical ability to connect with audiences young and old.
Contact: Penney & Logan marketing, Tilly Morris, 0418 582 812, tilly@penneyandlogan.com.au