Tu P “Sing The Blues”

Tu P is a doctor, a rapper, an Australian and the son of Vietnamese refugees. His identity is shaped by a flood of experience, and he uses music as a medium to share his incredible journey.

Tu was born and raised in the south-west suburbs of Brisbane, during a period when a fledgling refugee population was trying to establish its position in a wider Australian context. Second generation migrants were often encouraged to pursue academics to unlock opportunities that were not available to their parents, and Tu chose to study medicine. During his childhood, hip hop was becoming increasingly popular in his community, as a response to the exclusivity of the pub rock scene of the day. Tu developed a passion for both music and medicine, and despite many calls to give one up, he never got around to it – recording his impressive debut record “Made of Jade” during his intern year.

Initially, Tu kept his double life a secret – keeping his lyrics about himself and his culture, and showing no signs of his musical talents at his workplace. However, word would get around; patients would find him on YouTube, and battle rappers would use his profession against him. Tu also became more and more exposed to areas of dire clinical need, working in rural and Indigenous communities, and he began to realise that his lyrical content couldn’t just be about himself anymore.

Nowadays, his songs tackle a diverse range of themes, aiming to raise awareness about issues that would otherwise be drowned out by the incessant materialism of mainstream music. He collaborates with producers worldwide to create songs in many genres, including electro hop, RnB and trip hop. The stories he tells in his rapid-fire verses, and the melodies he performs himself, are a bold and fresh arrival to the Australian hip hop scene.

Tu’s conceptual approach to song writing also applies to his videos. “Sing the Blues” is a one shot video that shows him holding merchandise from fifty different entertainers who have influenced a generation with their talents and flaws. The “Two Flags” video featured his friends displaying their flags of origin and flags of residence, whilst declaring that dual identity is indeed possible.

Grassroots community involvement is a big part of Tu’s artistic vision. From incorporating the stories about his friends’ pendants in “That Chain”, to performing at several community events (Laura Street Festival, World Refugee Day, March in August rally, Scorcherfest and the Brisbane Malayalee Festival), he has always stayed true to his roots.

After a long time working underground, people are beginning to take notice. Tu has graced the front cover of national publication “mX”, has reached number 1 on the Reverbnation Brisbane hip hop charts, has been featured on 4ZZZ radio and has amassed a Facebook following of over 30000. Energised in the new direction of his career, Tu is currently recording his sophomore record “Agenda” – named that way because of the sense of urgency he brings to his subject matter. If you’re into music that matters, then Tu P is an artist to watch.