Australian R&B is an exciting field right now. This series has previously featured Miss Kaninna, while the likes of Temgazi are beginning to make their voices heard.
Leading the genre’s massive movement in 2023, though, is PANIA, a dynamic star in the making.
On her new single “BURNA FONE”, released earlier this week, she channels her love of UK garage into something truly electric. It’s a stylistic move that echoes contemporaries like PinkPantheress, but it luckily doesn’t off as pastiche; the passion for UK garage’s jittery rhythms is real.
It certainly helps that beloved English DJ Toddla T is on production duties, bringing his vast experience working with Craig David, Stormzy, Lady Leshurr, Burna Boy and many more to the track.
“Yo, I just think I made a bad bitch anthem,” PANIA declared in a TikTok video, and it’s a claim that “BURNA FONE”‘s furious energy makes difficult to deny.
Because whether it’s being listened to in Pakenham or Peckham, “BURNA FONE” is designed to go off. “I went into the studio knowing I wanted to make something different and fun, and to bridge the gap between Melbourne and the UK,” PANIA says.
The release of “BURNA FONE” comes at the ideal time – PANIA was just chosen as the next Spotify AU & NZ RADAR artist. That honour followed her selection for Live Nation’s prestigious Ones To Watch series earlier this year.
Add in a supporting slot for Kehlani and a sold-out show at Sydney Opera House, and 2023 is definitively a breakout year for PANIA.
“I’m that girl – I’ll never be the one that’s chasing,” the West Melbourne artist sings very early in her new single, and the way the music industry is catching up to her sound, chasing isn’t something she’ll have to worry about doing anytime soon.
PANIA’s “BURNA FONE” is out now via Say Less and Warner Music Australia.