In the wake of debuting at #1 on the ARIA Album Chart with their fifth studio effort ‘Circus In The Sky’, Bliss n Eso now find themselves with the highest selling Australian album of 2013, and a revered Gold plaque after only 10 days of release. Between the multiple number one charting albums and chart records, various awards and accolades, an unprecedented live presence and the most loyal music fanbase in the country, the Sydney trio continue to push not only themselves, but hip-hop, forward in Australia.
From an early stage in their career, Bliss N Eso primarily built their fan base from their compelling and energetic live performances. An exhilarating blend of fluid rhymes and banging beats teamed with beat boxing, impromptu freestyling and seamless turntablism make their live shows a brand in their own right, and has seen the group hailed as one of the best live acts in the country. After four years of touring with consistently powerful performances, Bliss N Eso settled down in 2004 to record their first full length album, Flowers In The Pavement. A virtual brainstorm on record, the emerging artists compiled track after track of wild expression through vibrant lyrics and production. The debut album met an overwhelming response from audiences and critics Australia wide.
In late 2006, Bliss N Eso’s second album, Day of the Dog, was released and became the first Australian hip-hop release to debut in ARIA’s top 50. It also earned Bliss N Eso an ARIA nomination for Best Urban Release in 2006 with sales exceeding all benchmarks for a local hip-hop release. In 2007 Bliss N Eso travelled to North America, playing sold out shows in the North-West of the US and Canada including a stand out performance at the Whistler 2007 Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival. Upon their return, the lads embarked on the unforgettable Make Poverty History Zero Seven road trip tour and ventured on an epic journey in June 2007 with MTV and the Oaktree Foundation to some of the poorest regions in South Africa to complete the track and shoot the video clip for their next album’s first single, Bullet and a Target. 2008 saw Bliss N Eso take things to a whole new level with the release of their third LP, Flying Colours.
The album, which received near perfect reviews in countless media, broke all kinds of records for an Australian hip-hop act thanks to five monster singles in the form of Bullet and a Target, Woodstock 2008,The Sea is Rising, Eye of the Storm and Field of Dreams. After a top 10 ARIA debut, the album became the highest selling local hip-hop album of the year and with their third nomination in as many years, Bliss N Eso took out the ARIA Award for 2008’s Best Urban Release. The official album tour sold out every one of its 24 legs including an unforgettable homecoming show at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre in front of 2,500 lucky ticket holders. The upcoming months saw the group rock some of the country’s most prestigious music events and they were now seen headlining festivals like the Quiksilver Pro and Come Together.
In March, in a fundraising effort for the Victorian bushfires, Melbourne hosted the biggest paid concert in Australian history in front of 92,000 punters at the MCG. Bliss N Eso were selected as the sole hip-hop act on a bill which included some of the biggest acts in Australian music history, and by all accounts, they held their own in “what many are stating was the performance of the day” (Beat Magazine).
In mid ‘09, the group released the Flying Colours Live deluxe edition (which featured a full-length DVD and brand new single, On Tour) and to celebrate, the group undertook one final national tour for the album which became the highest selling local hip-hop tour of all time. This included performing to over 10,000 punters in Melbourne during back-to-back sold-out shows at the city’s iconic Festival Hall, a feat only possible for a select few Australian acts.
In late ’09, amongst the insatiable public hype, the trio headed to an undisclosed location in the Victorian bush, to begin writing and recording their fourth studio album – Running on Air. They took a break from this process only to embark on a 20+ date sold-out American tour – another first for an Australian hip-hop act – and to headline Solar, MS Fest and Origin festivals. The highly anticipated first single from the album, Down by the River, was released in May 2010 and sparked pandemonium amongst the hordes of zealous Bliss N Eso fans. Their fourth studio album, Running on Air, was released on July 30th and debuted at #1 on the ARIA Album Chart, making them only the fourth Australian act to reach that position in 2010 and ending Eminem’s six week run in top spot. The album garnered near perfect reviews across the board, with some even stating that ‘it may be the genre’s finest release’ (Time Off). Shortly afterwards, Bliss N Eso embarked their sold-out Down by the River Australian tour, and before long the trio had their first platinum album in Running on Air. They joined up with the Kottonmouth Kings for another massive 25-date American tour before returning home for the Australian summer, where they scored a coveted main stage slot on the national Big Day Out tour and were amongst the headliners on festivals like Southbound, Fat as Butter, Groovin The Moo, Full Noise and Stonefest.
In March 2011 Bliss n Eso were invited to play the highly acclaimed SXSW music conference in Austin Texas. The band also went on to play headline shows in LA, Las Vegas and New York before heading back to Australia and embarking on what would be a record breaking Australian Tour.
The Running On Air tour comprised 14 sold out shows across Australia in front of 60,000 people and cemented itself as the highest selling local hip-hop tour of all time. The shows were filmed for a DVD which was later released in July 2012.
In March 2012 Bliss n Eso were once again invited to perform at the inaugural SXSW music conference in Austin. Directly after the music conference finished the band embarked on their first ever headline tour of the US and Canada. Playing 22 shows across the West Coast of both Countries in under a month the band has now cemented themselves a position in the international hip-hop scene.
In late 2012 Bliss n Eso ventured back into the studio to work on their 5th studio album – ‘Circus in the Sky’. Recorded across Australia and Los Angeles, the band has continued to push the envelope, creating their most eclectic and progressive album to date. Featuring guest appearances and collaborations with some of the most celebrated names in hip-hop music, including the legendary Nas and a roll call of Australian rap royalty in 360, Pez, Seth Sentry and Drapht, ‘Circus In The Sky’ has gone onto become one of the years biggest sensations in Australian music, debuting at Number 1 on the ARIA Album Chart, and trailing only Daft Punk in total album sales in Australia for 2013.
In March 2014 ‘Circus In The Sky’ continued to maintain a strong chart position and was certified Platinum. Throughout April and May the Trio embarked on their biggest national tour to date. The ‘Circus Under The Stars’ tour would become the biggest local hip-hop tour of all time. The two month outdoor tour saw the band play 16 shows across Australia with attendances of up to 8,000 people.