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Phillip Murray AKA Philly

Where were you born and where do you live now?

I was born in Nowra NSW but was raised in Mildura VIC, I’m currently living in Melbourne.

When did you start writing music?

I started writing music when I was 14, I found it very complicated when I first started now it’s like second nature.

Tell us a little about your process of writing music and what inspires you.

I write depending on how I’m feeling at that very moment, I find it easier to pick a topic that way also if my emotions are involved with the process the better I write.

How has story telling had an impact on your life/music?

Story telling plays a huge roll when it comes to music, I feel growing up listening to country music really helped with my story telling ability through my music. It’s important to tell stories not only to pass down to younger generations but to also show people that they’re not alone, there’s someone somewhere going through something similar to the problems you might be having.

What’s the first song you remember hearing?

The first song I remember hearing was a Naughty By Nature song called Hip-Hop Hooray and from then on I was hooked to the culture of Hip-Hop

What are you listening to at the moment?

I don’t really listen to much right now a bit of Tupac and J. Cole and that’s really just to learn from them because they’re 2 artist I really look up to. 

How has hip-hop changed your life?

Obviously it’s changed my life a lot It’s always been there and I’ve learned a lot from it. I call Hip-Hop my second culture and I embrace it just like I do my Aboriginality, both cultures are very similar in terms of storytelling, art, dance and music which is why I feel a connection with Hip-Hop.

Tell us about the Wemba Wemba dictionary your Auntie wrote and the impact it has had on your own writing.

I Haven’t read through the dictionary too much because I haven’t seen my Aunt since I lived in Swanhill a few years back but I definitely have to get my hands on the dictionary because I’d love to incorporate the language in my music.

How was it collaborating with Jimblah?

Working with Jimblah was a great experience he’s definitely an artist I look up to and anytime I need advice he’s there to give it, I flew over to Adelaide and stayed at his place for the week working on a song he had me rhyming double time and the verses were a lot longer than I usually write so he brought the best out of me and just talking to him about music, his experiences and everything in between taught me a lot so shout out to the brotherman Jimblah for the opportunity. 

Where can we see you perform?

I have a music video on Youtube and I think I have some performances on there that someone uploaded they’re hard to find though lol

What has been a highlight of your musical career?

Going on a national tour with the Yung Warriors (shout out to Tjimba and D-Boy) also performing with them at Big Day Out was amazing and meeting DJ Afrika Bambaataa was definitely a huge honour he’s the man that gave Hip-Hop it’s name.

What are you working on at the moment?

I moved to Melbourne at the start of the year to work on and release my debut album through Payback Records, it’s all coming together nicely and my first single entitled We On featuring Geelong footy star Steven Motlop is set to be released the same day as the NIMAs August 15.

Most valuable piece of advice you've been given.

Have fun.

5 things you can’t live without.






If you could have a coffee with anyone in the world, who would that be?

Definitely Will Smith because he’s my childhood hero I’ve seen everything he’s acted in and I’m a fan of his music it’s so positive.

What advice do you have for aspiring artists? 

It takes a long time to be an overnight success, nothing comes easy if you want it chase it till you get to where you want to be.

© Phillip Murray


Triple J Unearthed

Pay Back Records


Phillip Murray

Phillip Murray aka PHILLY, 23, was born in the golden era of Hip Hop in 1991. By the age of…

Phillip Murray aka PHILLY, 23, was born in the golden era of Hip Hop in 1991. By the age of four his older brothers had a huge collection and all he ever listened to was Hip Hop. The first hip hop song he remembers hearing as a child was Naughty by Natures ‘Hip Hop Hooray’ PHILLY’s destiny was set, he would be a Rapper and Songwriter.

He began writing heaps of rhymes and dubbing beats and rapping to them in public. It didn’t take long for PHILLY to become a Hip Hop star with a remarkably big following of kids just a bit younger than him. He became a local sensation gigging and living in Mildura and on his traditional homeland down Swan Hill side not far from the banks of Australia’s greatest river the Murray River.

The accolades began to flow when PHILLY won the National Noel Tovey Achievement Award in 2010 and became Mildura’s NAIDOC Artist of the Year in the same year. He dreamed bigger dreams and aims now to perform in the US and signed with independent indigenous music label Payback Records. ‘I like to write motivational, uplifting lyrics for me and my community and feel like reaching out to more and more people. I feel like trying to keep kids inspired to do something positive with their life. I think everyone wants to hear music to make kids proud of being Aboriginal in Australia today. Me myself I’m aiming for the top!’ With only a You Tube hit titled ‘Rookie of the Year’ out there PHILLY wants to put a lot of new stuff out, starting with the Payback Records Mix Tape which will be available for download through

PHILLY has toured nationally with the Yung Warriors including a spectacular appearance at the Big Day Out 2013. He continued to perform at the Payback Records Still Surviving Showcase in his own right and began regularly travelling to Melbourne for club gigs and shows Now based in Melbourne full time he has been trying out beats and raps live all over town and is ready to start recording his debut album. At the moment he cites J Cole andTupac as his main influences. His new album promises to be ‘better and more inspired’ and aims to create a ‘more open minded society telling people more indigenous stories’. ‘My Auntie wrote a dictionary for the WembaWemba people, my people. I study that book and keep learning the language all the time. I’d like to incorporate that more in my lyrics and will, as soon as I get more words learned. I’m always learning. I’m learning music recording too and want to mix up a few styles for my album. I’m in a good place right now.

Philly has recently supported Jessica Mauboy in two events in Mildura and Melbourne. He has also just recored a track with Jimblah for his upcoming album. Philly is now also part of the Melbourne based hip hop crew Indigenous Hip Hop Projects, working with the youth about the right way out without turning to smoking and drinking, and not to be "SHAME" through both dance and rap.