Brisbane’s Jesswar has shared her first single for the year with ‘Venom’. The searing track sees the Fijian rapper confront notions of power and hierarchy within Australia’s music industry head-on, rejecting tokenistic, “trickle-down” diversity.
“I felt I had been muzzled in the Australian music industry and that definitely inspired the lyrics. I felt I’d been stifled so much that this chant erupted into what is now the track,” the rapper commented in a statement.
“I truly felt fearless, unbound and untouchable. ‘Venom’ is a war cry from the front line.”
The song arrives alongside a video directed by Colin Jeffs and Kevin Bar – watch that below:
The accompanying video serves as a visual representation of the themes Jesswar raps about on ‘Venom’ – a celebration of “Pasifika excellence” and her community.
“It’s extremely important that my community is seen and seeing all the sissy’s come through felt like I had an army behind me,” she says.
Director Colin Jeffs says they drew heavy inspiration from the world of comic book universes when approaching the clip.
“The whole underground theme, looks and colors were inspired by movies like the Matrix and the slew of DC movies out there,” Jeffs explained.
While ‘Venom’ marks Jesswar’s first solo single for the year, the rapper appeared on a remix of Miiesha‘s ‘Hold Strong’ back in August alongside Hoodzy and JessB.