Sydney via Trinidad rapper Gold Fang in the studio for Red Bull 64 Bars.
© Tristan Stefan Edouard
Music

Gold Fang in the rapper bringing dancehall to Australia

The Trinidad-born talent wants to get Sydney dancing to a different sound.
By Katie Cunningham
5 min readPublished on
For Gold Fang, the path into rap began with instinct.
“I was freestyling everything for years, every single week on stage. That was my thing. People would be like, ‘Do you write?’ And I was like, no,” he recalls.
“Then COVID hit and it was like, well, you can't perform. You’ve gotta do something else. You gotta push it. So I started writing my own music and really taking it to the next level. Before I was a live musician, but now I think I'm a full artist.”
That decision to work on his craft paid off. Just a couple years down the track, the 24-year-old rapper is being heralded as one of Australia’s best new names in rap. Fang burst onto the scene in 2021 on Where Yuh From, a collaboration with Big Skeez that was the perfect introduction to his head-turning charisma. In under a year, he’s built fans and earned industry applause by flexing his charm, bravado and flow on dancehall-inflected singles like Light It. And now he’s stepping up for one of his biggest moments yet: Red Bull 64 Bars.

3 min

Gold Fang

Trinidad-born, Sydney-based Gold Fang lays down 64 bars, rhyming on a fresh track produced by Korky Buchek.

But to make his Red Bull 64 Bars, Fang went back to his roots.
“It’s basically a freestyle,” he says. “I wanted to have fun with this one. It's got a bit of everything. It's about smoking. It’s about dancing. It has some cheeky Caribbean references in it. It's just a vibe.”
Going with the moment is in keeping with the ethos of Red Bull 64 Bars. The premise of the series is simple: straight rap, nothing else. Over 64 bars, rappers flex their skills in the booth, without back-up dancers or anthemic choruses to distract your attention. It’s a format you either carry with the strength of your talent -- or don’t sign up for in the first place.
Even though he wanted to largely freestyle it, weaving bars full of Trinidad patois so smooth Drake would be jealous, Fang still went into his Red Bull 64 Bars with a vision. Working with his producers, powerhouse pair Korky Buchek, he set out to create a track that would move from roots reggae to dancehall into a high energy dance beat: “We fully thought it through,” he says.
Korky Buchek in the studio with Trinidad born Sydney based rapper Gold Fang for Red Bull 64 Bars.
Korky Buchek in the studio with Gold Fang.
After all, getting the call was a big deal for him.
“I feel like it's only the best of the best who get called up to do 64 Bars,” he says. “Especially in Australia, there's so many artists. So for me to get this call, I felt like yo, you're doing the right thing.”
Fang spent his early life in Trinidad, a small island nation in the Caribbean with a population of just 1.2 million. It was a “beautiful place” where dancehall played on the radio and dancefloors were free, fun sites of expression. At age 17, he moved to Sydney, where family, including his father, already lived.
Trinidad born, Sydney based rapper and dancehall artist Gold Fang for Red Bull 64 Bars.
Gold Fang for Red Bull 64 Bars.
He still remembers his first impression of Australia.
“It smelled weird,” Fang laughs. “The air’s a little bit funny. But honestly, I thought that it would be like America in terms of money presence. Like when you go to America, you see a lot of Lambos [Lamborghinis] and that kind of stuff. And then I walked out the airport and I was like, there’s Nissan Pulsars everywhere.”
An uncle of his who had moved to Australia’s decades earlier ran a weekly reggae night in Sydney called Reggae Mondays. It was at those parties that the idea of getting into music first occurred to Fang – and where he first started taking the stage for his weekly freestyles.
“I would go to the gig and I would watch how he performs. And I was like, I can do this,” he remembers.
Down the line, Fang began joining his cousin, who is part of Sydney electronic band The Goods, in the studio.
“I was helping him write music so I knew the formula for a while,” Fang says. “I always wanted to do my own thing, don't get me wrong. I just was never in the right situation. So I would freestyle, but I always knew how to write. That was always there.”
Eventually, he began writing his own bars and working with producers Korky Buchek, who introduced him to NLV Records founder Nina Las Vegas. She signed him, put him on a track with Big Skeez, and Australia fell in love with Gold Fang.
But Fang knows that as a dancehall artist in a country some 15,000 kilometres away from its Caribbean birthplace, he has a trail to blaze here.
“But that’s not a bad thing. I’m up for the challenge,” he says. “And I really feel like the person I am is not a quitter. I don't just swing once and then forget about it. I gotta show people that even though I come from a small region of the world, that it is a very big sound.”
I really feel like the person I am is not a quitter
Gold Fang
And he has big ambitions.
“My vision for my music is to touch the world with it,” he says. “Most people I talk to don’t really know where Trinidad is. As a youth who is from basically nowhere, who didn’t have a lot of resources and has been through so much, I think [I prove] that there’s a light at the end of every tunnel.”
Trinidad born rapper and dancehall artist Gold Fang in the studio for Red Bull 64 Bars.
Gold Fang in the studio for Red Bull 64 Bars.
“I want people to say to people, be comfortable in your own skin. As a black kid in Australia, I can definitely feel the struggles of trying to do something original. When you represent that, I feel like you can’t go wrong. That’s what I want my music to represent – being headstrong in whatever you wanna do, whether it’s music, whether it’s art, whatever. Just be yourself. That’s what I try to do all the time.”
And Gold Fang has faith in himself.
“I’m gonna take over Australia,” he laughs. “I guarantee it.”