Australia first met Unamii in 2020 as part of Brisbane-based collective Swish Music. In a crew of 12 rappers, hailing variously from the likes of South Sudan, Zimbabwe and Uganda, Unamii was the sole female member. But that wasn’t what really made her stand out -- on the track ‘Showtime’ she stole the show with her sharp and witty lyrics, immediately marking herself as one to watch.
Now, Unamii is back to deliver on that early promise. She’s stepped up for Red Bull 64 Bars series to lay down an incendiary three minutes of, as Unamii puts it, “talking my sh*t unapologetically”. The premise of Red Bull 64 Bars is simple: no hooks, no bells or whistles, just straight rap. You have to be a killer in the booth to pull it off, and Unamii is.
To find out more about her path into rap and where she plans to take things, we emailed Unamii a few questions. Watch her Red Bull 64 Bars below and read on for the Q&A.
Unamii Red Bull 64 Bars
How did you first get into rap?
When I was growing up rock was my favourite genre of music, until the day I heard my first Lil Wayne track. I was about 11-years-old and my Dad played it in the car and I was hooked. I immediately started writing raps in my hot pink notebook. I knew then that this was something I loved and I just kept secretly writing for years.
Where did you grow up and did that influence you musically at all?
Growing up in Auckland definitely influenced me musically. Auckland is such a hot pot of different cultures, people and energy and I began hearing it sonically in the music around me. This almost made me have no choice but to be musically diverse and versatile, because the influence and inspiration was consistently changing.
Which artists inspired you in your early days?
In my early rap days I was really only inspired by Lil Wayne, Lil Kim, Nicki Minaj and Rick Ross. That was because I was really amazed at their wordplay, their pen-game and how they could fit that into their own unique swag. These were things I really paid attention to when I was young and trying to write.
What did you rap about on your Red Bull 64 Bars?
On my Red Bull 64 Bars, I decided to just be myself and have fun on the beat. I think when you listen to my 64 Bars, you really hear the punchlines and bars in a way that is playful, but also aggressive, and I think that shows my versatility. My Red Bull 64 Bars really showcases both sides of who Unamii the artist is.
Do you have a favourite bar from your Red Bull 64 Bars?
I don't think I can say I have a favourite bar from the song but I can say I love the moments of the song that where I’m really just talking my sh*t unapologetically.
Can you tell us about the producer you worked with on your Red Bull 64 Bars?
I wanted to have a beat switch up on the track so I had Hugh Lake produce the first beat, and Mansus produce the second part of the track. The producers I worked with both have their own unique sounds to them and merging them to me was the way I could showcase the best of both worlds.
What’s your vision for your music?
My vision for my music is to be the best at what I do, whilst still have a catalogue that is consistent, and most importantly, versatile. I want to create music that sounds like all the parts of who I am as a creative. I want the audience to experience that through both my music and my visuals as I continue to grow.