Ozi Batla is one of Australia's best-known MCs, fronting ARIA-nominated and critically acclaimed groups, The Herd and Astronomy Class.
Batla’s musical journey began in 1996 when he teamed up with DJ ALF and hosted the Joined at the Bass nights at the Cricketer's Arms in Surry Hills (Sydney). His first band, Trace Element formed soon after with current Herd bassist Rok Poshtya. They played a multitude of gigs, including the unforgettable Reclaim the Streets parties of the late 90s. Batla continued mcing with DJ ALF for both drum’n’bass and hip hop club nights like Sonic Fiction and the legendary Frigid Sundays in the years following.
Ozi Batla became involved with Sydney Independent label Elefant Traks at the very beginning and has been frontman with The Herd, whose five albums The Herd (2001); An Elefant Never Forgets (2003); The Sun Never Sets (2005), Summerland (2008) Future Shade (2011) have seen them build a huge fanbase in Australia. They’ve sold out national tours, including major metropolitan theatres through to regional venues whilst accepting invitations to every major festival in the country. During this time they’ve won AIR Awards; had a top ten ARIA chart album; as well as being nominated for an ARIAs award (Best Urban 2008, 2012); J Awards and an AMP award.
Aside from his work with The Herd, Batla has released two records with hip hop crew Astronomy Class, a group which he fronts alongside acclaimed producers Chasm & Sir Robbo. Astronomy Class released Exit Strategy (2006), Pursuit of Happiness (2009) which was nominated for an ARIA Award (Best Urban 2009) & J Award for Australian Music Video of the Year (Where You At?).
He took part in Before Too Long: Paul Kelly Tribute alongside Missy Higgins, Augie March and many more, performing at two sold-out shows at Melbourne’s Forum.
In May 2010 Ozi Batla released his long-awaited solo album Wild Colonial, featuring production from Sandro. The first single Put It on Wax was well received at radio and saw him tour extensively across Australia.
2014 will see Batla reunited with Astronomy Class for a special project inspired be the vibrant pop culture of pre-Khmer Rouge Cambodia. The idea was sparked on a recent trip which saw them play at Tiger Translate Festival in Cambodia alongside local artists.