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Beats, Bars and Business: Workshops and Live Music Show

by beth sorensen

Beats, Bars and Business: Workshops and Live Music Event

Event postponed – new dates to be announced

Are you a western Sydney-based rapper, producer or hip hop enthusiast?

Do you have a hustler’s mindset and a determination to succeed as an artist, despite the lockouts and lockdowns? If so, Beats, Bars and Business is for you!

Beats, Bars and Business is a new initiative by Shannon ‘Monks’ Smith and Douglas ‘Deej Aye’ Belton, designed to promote and develop western Sydney’s Hip Hop talent.

Join hands-on workshops to build the artistic and entrepreneurial skills you need to take your passion seriously. Or, if you’re more of fan, join us for a live music event  featuring the most exciting names in local hip hop now.

Just announced: Tasman Keith will be headlining the Live Music Show!

Hometown pride runs deep for 25-year-old rapper Tasman Keith, whose music is indebted to giving back to the community that raised him. From a small town on New South Wales’ mid-North Coast most commonly recognised for one of the country’s most notorious missions and most shameful history, the rapper is carrying on the storytelling traditions of his family, by writing a new chapter through music. From syrupy 90s West Coast synths, to neo-funk, skittering trap hi-hats and emotive R&B, his music defies categorisation, but his message remains hard to ignore.

Live Music Show

Experience the best that western Sydney hip hop has to offer as the Beats, Bars and Business crew host a live music event! Bring friends or family for an evening of live music and performance at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre, hosted by Monks and Deej Aye. Full line-up coming soon.  An all-ages event.

We are postponing the performance of Beats, Bars and Business coming up this Friday 8 April due to unforeseen circumstances. If you have purchased a ticket to this performance, we will be in touch shortly to organise a refund. We apologise for any inconvenience, and thank you for your support and patience.
The new performance date will be announced soon. Please regularly check our social media pages and website for important announcements.

Want to connect with other Emcees and hip hop enthusiasts in western Sydney?  Join the Western Sydney Emcee / Rappers Collective Facebook Group!

Zoom Workshops

Thursdays 10 March, 17 March,  24 March,  31 March
7.30 pm – 9.30 pm
Workshops will be delivered through Zoom
$5 general
*Booking fees apply

Recommended for 16+ years. Suitable for all skill levels and abilities.

Workshop Program

10 March – The Art of the Emcee Cypher
Build skills for artistic collaboration and freestyling. Using the hip hop cultural practice of the emcee cypher, develop collaborative skills with other emcees as well as valuable self-reflection and more confidence to creatively improvise. Improve your ability to improvise and flow spontaneously by tapping into sub-conscious layers of artistic creativity and innovation. Facilitated by lead artists Monks and Deej Aye.

17 March – Beat Production for Emcees
Become more self-sufficient as an emcee/rapper by understanding how to create your own beats. Learn the basics of finger drumming, sampling, multi layering, sequencing, effects, recording and live stem triggering. Facilitated by Mumbles.

24 March – Next Level Lyricism
Learn the techniques and methodology for constructing dynamic lyrical patterns, delivery styles and socially relevant content. This workshop covers topics of song writing including rhyme sequencing, bar counting, song structure, freestyle techniques, composition, breath control, vocal recording and live performing.

Prior to the workshop you will be provided with a beat and directed to write an 8 bar verse. Attendees will showcase their work and exchange constructive feedback to be integrated into a refined version. Facilitated by lead artists Monks and Deej Aye.

31 March – Music Business – Basics and Trends
An introduction and deep dive into a range of strategies, techniques and opportunities to earn a living and build a career as a skilled emcee / rapper. Designed to give you valuable tools to build your artistic brand and industry presence.  Facilitated by Joint Adventure.

Artist Bios

Shannon “Monks” Smith is a professional educator and youth developer who has earned a living as an artist and hip hop educator at places such as the Street University, Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation and the Song Room. The quality of his work is reflected in the numerous lives of young people who now have a valuable new musical tool with which to process and express their lived experience.


Douglas “Deej Aye” Belton
has developed a reputation as a highly skilled lyricist, beatboxer and percussionist through stage performances in the U.S.A., Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Norway, Japan, Thailand, and Australia.

Since immigrating to Australia, from Minneapolis, USA, he has worked as a business professional and served on youth arts and radio station boards to help amplify the diverse voices of western Sydney community members. Together, Monks and Deej Aye have steadily improved the value of their respective offerings in the areas of artistic, community and economic development.

is a skilled beatmaker, live sampler, DJ and producer based in Sydney’s West. He has been rocking stages and facilitating workshops for young beatmakers in Redfern for a number of years, and currently hosts Rock The Block, a regular hip hop cypher night at Hustle and Flow in Redfern.




Joint Adventure has 20+ years music industry experience under their belt, and a network that extends to all corners of the globe. Joint Adventure offers a variety of services to assist the needs of their clients including Artist Management & Development, Bookings, Tour Management, Publicity, Marketing, Promotion, Social Media Management, and more.

Over the years Joint Adventure has coordinated tours and promoted shows for international superstars, including The Gza (Wu-Tang Clan), Masta Ace, Pharoahe Monch, The Beatnuts, Jeru The Damaja, RA The Rugged Man, EPMD, Rahzel (The Roots), MC Supernatural, The X-ecutioners, Jean Grae, Lord Finesse (DITC), Edan, Oh No, Jehst, Akrobatik, Louis Logic, and more.

Proudly funded by the NSW Government in association with Blacktown City Council and Blacktown Arts.