Kruger James

rapper / beatmaker / instrumentalist

Kruger James and His Orchestra

Rapper /
Beatmaker / Instrumentalist.

Kruger James raps over his own beats, that use no samples. He plays violin, piano, guitar, percussion, the list goes on. As a beatmaker he's highly regarded, as a rap instrumentalist he is revered, and as a rapper he has been at the forefront of Perth music for over a decade.

2017 saw him release his first full length album ‘Slouching Toward Nirvana’ to critical acclaim. The lead single ‘Portrait In Rap’, a dedication to the great jazz pianist Bill Evans, saw Kruger James in a single take lead us through him in the studio, (spoiler alert) including a truly epic violin solo.

Kruger James then released a full instrumental album where he played all the instruments, entitled 'Emptybars Vol. 3'. It’s an absolutely monstrous collection of instrumental rap music.

If that wasn't enough, Kruger James also runs the bi-weekly live freestyle event Colab. It features a band that draws from a pool of over 50 perth musicians from bands all over Perth, and combines them with a guest singer and two co-host freestylers that lead you through a two and half hour live freestyle. It's become known as one of the highlights of the Perth music scene.

He's written and scored the music for many live band projects, such as 10 piece Soul-Hop WAMi award winners 'The Typhoons' or 7 piece String-Hop phenomenon 'The Empty Cup', and single-handedly wrote, performed and recorded all the music for short films Rays of Sunshine & The Little Astronaut.

As a violinist Kruger James is also accomplished. He's played for acts such as London Grammar and The Hilltop Hoods, and also small independent projects like Rachael Dease's 'City of Shadows' (which won the 2012 Martin Simms award), and even professional orchestras like The West Australian Symphony Orchestra and The Perth Symphony Orchestra.

He is a stalwart example of Perth's rich and varied music scene, and each subsequent release marks a unique step in an undeniably powerful discography.


Starting Quote: James Hanlon for X-Press Magazine /

Photographer: Matsu Photography