The Whole World Is Obsessed With Hiatus Kaiyote Right Now

We've collected the evidence.

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The evidence is mounting that the biggest celebrity trend of the moment comes straight out of Melbourne.

It’s not avocado lattes or $5 spoons of nutella, but a four-piece band called Hiatus Kaiyote. And yes, we know — the future soul outfit aren’t new. They’ve been around since 2011. They were the first ever Australian act to be nominated for an R&B Performance Grammy (for ‘Nakamarra’) in 2013. Everyone’s been listening to them for ages, and have you really only just cottoned on now, Junkee?

But in the first half of 2017, Kaiyote-fever has reached fever pitch. In the last few months, their list of public admirers has grown to include everyone from Oscar-winning actors to iconic rappers and, um, ‘Whip My Hair’ hitmaker Willow Smith.

So to take stock of Hiatus Kaiyote’s Big Moment, we’ve collected all of their high profile shout-outs in one place. Because this kind of global attention on an Australian band is pretty cool, right?


We knew something was up when Drizzy began including Hiatus track ‘Building A Ladder’ in his pre-performance playlist on the Boy Meets World tour. Then he went one step further, using Nai Palm’s raw vocals as a sample on the More Life opener ‘Free Smoke’.

Nai Palm hasn’t ruled out hitting him up for a collab either: “Even though he’s mainstream, he’s referencing real shit, and he’s really clever about it. He seems like a really genuine, rad person who still has a good head on his shoulders.”

Kendrick Lamar

Then, a month later, Hiatus scored another massive album feature. This time it was on ‘DUCKWORTH’, a track from Kendrick Lamar’s incendiary DAMN., which sampled a chunk of their 2015 track ‘Atari’

The sample originally came from the brain of ‘DUCKWORTH’s producer, 9th Wonder — who apparently is something of a serial Hiatus lover.

Anderson .Paak

9th Wonder’s Hiatus sampling obsession didn’t begin with Kendrick –it started when he worked with Anderson .Paak on his stellar 2016 record Malibu. 

If you stick your headphones on and listen closely to .Paak’s track ‘Without You’, you’ll hear pieces of ‘Molasses’ — another song from Hiatus Kaiyote’s 2015 album Choose Your Weapon. 

Which means that in the last year alone, Hiatus have landed in three top ten Billboard albums — not too shabby at all.

Willow Smith

Singer, dancer, actor, and unbearably enlightened human Willow Smith isn’t just a fan of Hiatus’ music, she’s also very into their “spirit”.

“One of my dream collaborations is to work with a band called Hiatus Kaiyote,” Smith said told Pharrell Williams in Interview Magazine. “Their music is so beautiful, the changing of the time signatures. Nai Palm, the vocalist, I have such an affinity for her voice.”

“And everything that she talks about in her music and everything that she stands for is just so beautiful. Just seeing how they live their lives and observing them as a spirit and as a human, it’s so beautiful.”

Mahershala Ali

Oscar-winner and perfect human Mahershala Ali professed his love in the best way we know how — by creating a playlist.

For his cover story in GQ magazine, Ali created a playlist of his ultimate summer jams, putting in cuts from JAY-Z, Knxwledge, Childish Gambino, Erykah Badu… and Hiatus Kaiyote, featuring their Grammy-nominated track ‘Nakamarra’.

James Hetfield/ James Hetfield’s spawn

You know you’ve covered all bases when you can get nods from Drake and Metallica. In a recent interview, frontman James Hetfield revealed that his kids were currently obsessed by this strange band from Melbourne, and he kinda dug them too.

“My kids turn me onto a lot of new stuff,” he said. “They’re hell bent on this band called Hiatus Kaiyote, from Australia. Just some really out there, wacky stuff — I can’t even describe their music, it’s so cool.”