Get To Know Your NLMA Live Act Of The Year ACT Nominee: Kirklandd!

Public voting for the National Live Music Awards – NLMAs is in full swing, so to help inform your decision, this week BMA is chatting to all the Best Live Act Of The Year for the ACT nominees.

So please welcome to the podium, the hardest working man in Canberra, hip hop happener Daniel “Kirklandd” Kirkland!


How was Kirklandd birthed?
Kirkland is my last name, and I added an extra D because my first name is Daniel. No wild backstory, I just never believed in creating an alias for my music. I want everything people hear from me to be an accurate reflection of myself and my experiences, not a separate entity I created.

Describe your sound:
My sound’s wildly unpredictable, even for me as the person behind it. With The Love Divide, I’ve tapped into punk/alt-pop influences I wasn’t fully aware existed, and now my style’s somewhere between alt-pop and hip hop.

I channel all corners of genre, and want my music to reflect the different vibes I’m into. Our live set definitely reflects this musicality I want my music to embody.

To those new to your music, which three tracks should they check out?
If you haven’t heard my music before, listen to Rise:

Then check out SIIYE, the first chapter of The Love Divide Trilogy:

Then keep an eye for Chapter Two, coming out this Friday.

What drew you to music? And what keeps you going?
I was drawn to music through my older cousins who are both musicians, Shaka and Muthu. I was in awe of everything they were doing when I was a kid, and I began to develop a silent craft of writing lyrics growing up. It simply got to a point where I was too passionate about it to not spend all my time on it.

Music and creating are my true measures of all my experiences; everything I go through is channelled into what I create, and it helps me understand my own growth. I think artists sharing such personal stories through their craft has helped me throughout my own journey, and my hope is that I can offer that to others with what I create.

What are some of the most memorable experiences you’ve had?
The ones that stand out are when I hear how much my music has helped people; when you’re so immersed in the process and grind is sometimes easy to forget that exists. Fans coming up to me at shows and us spending ages talking about a single lyric, moments like that. It means the world to me. All of my most memorable moments have been touring because it’s when you connect with people the most. You see the fruits of your creation firsthand and the impact it’s having on others directly. I think getting to do that at festivals like Groovin last year just showed us the vision on a whole different level.

What makes you laugh? 
Lucy Sugerman. Mostly when she isn’t trying to but does anyway.

What pisses you off? 
Lucy Sugerman. All the time.

How does it feel to be nominated?
It honestly feels great, man. I’ve put a mammoth amount of work to continue to offer our fans a dope live platform during COVID-19, and with The Love Divide Experience, we’re going to put on our best shows yet, even though they’re virtual. I’ve been fortunate to work with an incredible 8-piece band for these shows, and to be recognised in such a difficult year is dope. 

Why should the slavering general public vote for you?
I’m proud of the virtual touring platform I’ve built during iso and I’d be thrilled for anyone who vibed that to swing us a vote, but I feel all acts nominated this year are equally deserving. Our city’s just up to some dope shit and any recognition for us is mad appreciated.

What are your plans for the future?
I’m going to redefine mainstream hip hop in Australia and continue to push the boundaries of what you can do within the genre. I’m going to continue to help define Canberra as the biggest creative hub in Australia, both in and outside of my artist project, and I’m so excited to see the heights we’re going to reach in the coming years. 

Anything else you’d like to add?
I’m putting out the hit of your summer on October 16th. Stay tuned.


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