FORMER Perth Hills resident Jett Bieundurry, a rapper who performs as Kayps, is the 2023 scholarship recipient of the $10,000 Robert Juniper Award for the Arts.
Growing up in the hills, the former Helena College student’s journey into the world of music commenced in his early years, nurtured by his mother Donna and father Clifton, a seasoned performer on international stages.
Kayps’ passion for music ignited during his primary school years, with him much preferring to create music rather than doing his homework.
A testament to his dedication to creating music is in his strict daily regime, which started around the age of 12 – rising early each morning to lay down beats and pen some lyrics before heading to school, returning to his creative pursuits after school was finished.
His early dedication has seemingly set the stage for a lifelong journey in music, one that he is keen to embrace.
Kayps’ musical versatility, steadfast commitment to artistic expression, and the thorough and thoughtful approach outlined in his project proposal impressed all the adjudicators.
While not mandatory according to the award criteria, the judges believed that his project had the potential to not only improve his personal skills but also create a ripple effect by enriching his community.
They unanimously selected him after an intense evaluation of an exceptional lineup of finalists.
Despite being only 18 years old, Kayps has a discography that spans multiple bodies of work, including a featured EP on prominent Spotify playlists in 2023. His 2021 album ‘Beauty Among the Chaos’ not only resonated with audiences but also earned the prestigious honour of gracing the cover of Apple Music HipHop.
The accolades continued as he secured the Indigenous Initiative Award from the Triple J Unearthed competition in 2021.
A finalist in the same competition that year, he maintained momentum by securing a spot in the national competition in 2022 and later that year Kayps took to the stage at the Nannup Music Festival, enthralling his audience.
In 2023 he embarked on the Mushroom Records First Nations pathway writers programme in Melbourne, showcasing not only his musical capabilities but also his commitment to nurturing emerging talent. During his school holidays, he volunteered to lead a songwriting and music production workshop for Indigenous young men at the Koya Foundation.
Beyond his musical achievements, he envisions inspiring First Nations youth nationwide and he is dedicated to being an active participant in making this happen.
“My purpose for creating music stems from my passion in wanting to inspire First Nations youth around our country in expressing themselves via the creative arts. In addition to extending my skillset and knowledge in both the creation and the production aspects of music, I also aim to be able to perform my music at festivals and venues across Australia which will help me to create connections in communities and with young people,” Kayps said.
His multifaceted approach extends beyond music, with a commitment to developing skills in video production to complement his music. He knows that dynamic multimedia presentations will enhance his storytelling and help him to reach a wider audience.
His award application project centres around collaborating with videographer Joel Baker to create four videos of four songs that he aims to release later this summer.
Kayps’ unwavering dedication to his skill development, and his ongoing social commitment to his community positions him as a rising force in the Australian music scene, ready to make a lasting impact with his upcoming release and into the future.
The awards are given out annually to young creative people under 35 with a strong association to the Shire of Mundaring to assist in young people taking their creative pursuits to somewhere they image it to be.
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