Career Highlights

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2006 – 2023 HIGHLIGHTS


2006 – 2009 :

  • Part time youth worker at YSAS drug and alcohol detox facility for young people., Suicide prevention. Indigenous Hiphop Projects mentor in Alice Springs, Castlemaine, NT


TZU release ‘Smiling at Strangers’ (Artist/Producer/Musician) shortlisted for inaugural Australian Music Prize. Headline Falls Festival over NYE at Lorne, Marion Bay + Southbound Festival (rapper/Performer), embark on two national tours. headline The Great escape Festival, Falls Festival, Southbound Festival and Splendour in the Grass. Invited to tour Germany with Der fall Bose.

  • Key note speaker at Black Harmony Gathering at Fairfield Amphitheatre (poet).


  • TZU headline Pyramid Rock Festival over NYE, headline Bass in the Grass festival, Darwin + Bass in The Dust Festival, Alice Springs, TZU embark on national Big Day Out tour.
  • Spoken word collaboration with QC barrister Julian Burnside for Victorian Arts Law Week at The Melbourne Arts Centre (poet)
  • Featured Artist in Australian Hiphop documentary film ‘Words From The City’ premiering at MIFF (rapper/performer)
  • Freeza (The Push) mentoring of Kieran Anthony + Matt Calwell (360)


  • TZU release ‘Computer Love’ (rapper/songwriter/musician/producer). Triple J album of the week, embark on 22 date sold out national tour, headline Falls Festival + Southbound Festival, (rapper/Performer)
  • Keynote speaker and mentor at Hiphop for Harmony program (rapper/performer)


  • Winner of Ubud Writers Festival Slam Poetry event (poet)
  • TZU embark on Big day Out national Tour, nominated for The Age EG award for best band, feature artists at The Sydney Powerhouse Museum


  • Appeared in ABC TV show Bush Slam as a featured artist (poet) presenting work in Cowra
  • 2 weeks of facilitating Hiphop workshops with Indigenous youth in Jabiru (NT) focusing on mental health through music.


  • Released first solo album ‘Voyager’ with Sydney label Elephant Traks (songwriter/producer/rapper), nominated for AIR awards best Independent hiphop/Urban Album. Heart Remains open source video project (songwriter/rapper/producer), headlines Wide Open Spaces Festival, Alice Springs, The Hills are Alive festival, Shine On Festival, embarks on 13 date sold out national tour
  • Workshop facilitator for RISE – Refugee, Survivors and Ex-Detainees


  • TZU releases Millions of Moments album and comic book (songwriter/rapper/producer/creator)
  • Joelistics solo shows in London/Hamburg/Berlin/Amsterdam
  • TZU embark on 8 date national tour, headline Wide Open Spaces Festival, ‘Sprung’ Hiphop Festival, 15 date national tour, Queenscliff Festival
  • Joelistics is featured artist in ‘Dr. Seuss meets Elefant Traks ‘event at Sydney Opera House


  • Joelistics performances in Hamburg and Berlin
  • Key note speaker at Anti- racism event “I’m not racist But…” hosted by Reconciliation NSW
  • Joelistics headlined Rainbow Serpent Festival
  • Key note speaker at ‘Face The Music’ capacity building event
  • Joelistics headline artist for ASRC ‘Rock the Boat’ event
  • Joelistics featured artist at AFL multicultural Round event, Etihad stadium


  • Joelistics album Blue Volume released
  • Toured Extensively
  • Singapore shows
  • Hong Kong shows
  • Indigenous Hiphop projects tour of Katherine + Central Arnhem Land


  • Co-wrote ‘Ven Vedi Veci’ for Madonna (producer)
  • Invited to perform with You Am I for Triple J 40th year anniversary concert at Sydney domain for 26,000 people (rapper/performer)
  • Wrote, composed and performed the opening song for the AFC Asian Cup at AAMI park with music director Chong Lim.


  • Began Music Program Officer role for Multicultural Arts Victoria
  • Birdz song ‘Rise’ realeased. High rotation on Triple J. short listed for Vanda and Young song of the year award (producer/co-writer)
  • Omar Musa song Dead Centre released (producer) high rotation on Triple J
  • Invited to be a key speaker at Fuse: Cultural Diversity Forum, presented by the City of The Gold Coast
  • In Between Two premiered at Sydney Festival
  • (theatre maker/writer/creator/musician)


  • Artist advisor for The Australian Music Vault
  • Board member for youth music organisation The Push
  • Haiku hands song ‘Not about you’ released (cowriter)
  • Birdz release song ‘Black Lives Matter’ (producer)
  • Curated Live event Multifuturism
  • Kaiju hiphop and Jazz project
  • In Between Two theatre 10 date tour including – NT, OZAsia Festival – Adelaide, Melbourne Festival (theatre maker/writer/creator/musician)


  • Mojo Juju track Native tongue (producer) released
  • Mojo Juju Album Native Tongue released (producer/cowriter)
  • Haiku Hands song ‘Jupiter’ released (producer/cowriter). High rotation on Triple J
  • Featured poet in Solid Air: Australian and New Zealand Spoken Word Anthology (poet)
  • Curated Entertainment for Abbotsford Convent Open Day
  • Invited to develop scripts for TV show based on In Between Two with Matchbox (script writer/creator)
  • Nominated for APRA song of the year ‘Native Tongue’
  • ‘Return Flight’ cross cultural Poetry X Art commission collaborating with Hong Kong artist (poet)


  • Song ‘Native Tongue’ nominated for Song of the Year by APRA Music Awards
  • Recurring role on youth sci fi TV show The Nowhere Boys as the villain Zeb
  • Released ‘Ghost Town’ album under the name Moju X Joelistics
  • Curated entertainment for  Abbotsford Convent Open Day
  • Composed and performed soundtrack for Moon Lantern parade at OzAsia Festival in front of approx..40,000 people
  • GRID mentor for outer suburbs rappers Nomad and Titan (mentor)
  • Poetry performance at The Wheeler Centre launch for Solid Air publication (poet)
  • Poetry commission and residency for Far Flung exhibition at Mannigham Council


  • Won Producer of the year Award by Music Victoria
  • Released Joelistics Presents Film School short film (Still the Quivering Air)
  • Shadow Catchers poetry commission from NGV
  • Haiku hands release debut album (producer/cowriter)
  • Aaron Choulai releases Raw Denshi album (Executive producer)
  • Lecturer on composition and lyric writing at Boxhill Institute
  • Completed Clock your Skills bootcamp attaining masters level qualification


  • Released Joelistics Presents Film School album.
  • Launched Odd Head Record label
  • Completed Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
  • Designed Electronic Composition unit at BHI
  • GRID mentor and producer for South Sudanese blues singer Jag.


Investment in others

Joel works tirelessly to uplift other artists and help bring their voices to the front. He has been instrumental in mentoring some of the biggest names in the Australian music Industry as well as working with artists at breakthrough moments in their careers, often helping to realise their most memorable work.

In the last 5 years I have had the pleasure of collaborating with Joel Ma (A.K.A. Joelistics) on two major creative projects. In these instances Joel was engaged as a producer and co-writer, but often his role extended beyond his job description and into territory I can only describe as akin to a mentor.

Joel not only helped me to create one of the most career-defining songs in my catalogue (Native Tongue), he also supported, encouraged and enabled me to explore themes of culture, identity and belonging through my creative work and pushed me to challenge myself as an artist.

It takes very little searching to find what an incredible body of work Joel has amassed – not only as a producer, but as an artist in his own right – even as the majority of his career lies ahead of him. His work is diverse and experimental and he demonstrates a nuanced understanding of a broad range of music. His lyrics are witty, introspective and insightful and he offers a perspective that I believe is vital in this current climate.

  • Mojo Ruiz de Luzuraga

Joel is an outstanding musician and champion for change across our contemporary music sector. Through both his work as a musician, program manager and mentor, he has dedicated his career to empowering and elevating the voices of young people of colour and young people from low socio-economic backgrounds. I have seen first-hand the impact Joel has had in directly engaging with these communities through his work at The Push as a past board member, performer at our signature events, and mentor across a range of our vocational mentoring programs.

Joel is committed to ensuring all young people can have equal access to participate in contemporary music, and as a leader in our community, has worked tirelessly to address the many barriers that exist.

  • Kate Duncan, CEO at The Push

He is an outstanding personality in the arts industry that I have had the privilege of working with over several projects in the last few years. His innovative vision and depth of experience is exceptional, working across the industry in many different genres and roles. He is passionate about the excellence of music and art but also uses it as a platform to raise awareness on important social issues.

As a producer and collaborator, Joel has encouraged, supported and helped me achieve my own vision with the highest quality of artistic merit. He has mentored me not only with my songwriting and musical direction but also within the music industry, connecting me to opportunities to help develop my career as a solo artist. Being a woman of colour in this industry has it’s own challenges to overcome and Joel has been a champion for me to give me the best chances of success.

  • Parvyn Singh, Solo artist name ‘Parvyn’ and Bombay Royale

Rap, Poetry, lyrics, scripts

Joel is a master wordsmith who has earned his place as one of Australia’s most celebrated rappers and song writers operating as an artist under the name ‘Joelistics’ and as a co-writer for others. He has recently demonstrated a capacity to move between modes of performance adding TV and theatre to his repertoire.

“ Joelistics is a rare talent. A storyteller in the truest sense of the word, he has a unique ability to paint intricate pictures with the simplest of lyrics” Inpress ‘Album of the week review’ 2008 (TZU, Computer Love)

Joel Ma’s commitment to the craft of spoken word has been consistent and powerful. I was inspired by a collaboration he did with Julian Burnside (!) For an Arts Law Week show in 2007 where they rapped about the idiosyncratic nature of Australian behaviours in a politically provocative, thought provoking piece of lyrical mastery. Joel continues using words, making music and producing records with artists that are not conforming to stereotypes, that challenge our privilege and are thought provoking.  I regard him as one of our great contemporary poets. His consistent, ongoing commitment to honing his craft is courageous and brave.

  • David Anderson, Head of Contemporary Performance Arts Centre Melbourne

**** “…Joelistics’ love of beat poetry takes his narratives and vistas to a level as vivid as any great Australian poet”

Sometimes confronting, often achingly beautiful and always executed with a delicacy of touch his rap/poetry is capable of the sublime.  It was these qualities that led to an invitation in 2018 to participate in Solid Air, the first printed compendium of Australian and New Zealand Spoken word poetry pieces.

In 2020, alongside poets such as Australian Prime Minister’s award-winning poet Melinda Smith and several other exceptional poets, Joel was invited by Red Room Poetry and the Art Gallery of New South Wales to respond to the photographic Exhibition Shadow Catchers in collaboration with Sydney Writer’s festival.

  • Annie Te Whiu – producer, Redroom Poetry

10/10 “Technically brilliant, exquisitely written and oh so gorgeously produced…” AUDIOCRACY (Blue Volume)

In 2017 I was lucky enough to be in the audience at The Melbourne Arts Centre to witness ‘In Between Two’ and was again awed and moved by the creativity and personal bravery in Joel’s music and storytelling.  I have had the pleasure of working alongside him in a writers room and have observed up close his ebullience and enthusiasm which is as exciting and original as it is fearless. I fully endorse his nomination for the fellowship and can think of few more deserving in the Australian Arts scene.

  • Tony Ayres – Executive Producer, Tony Ayres productions

“Indeed, in the crafting of their stories composed of these little nuggets of gold, Ma and Mangohig show that they are their ancestors’ most elaborate re-mixes”

(In Between Two) – The Conversation

Music/ Production/Collaborations

As multi -instrumentalist, songwriter, producer and collaborator he is recognised as a unique voice in the Australian Music Industry. He has worked with artists such as Tim Rogers, Emma Donovan, Wil Wagner (The Smith street band), Mo’ju, Haiku Hands, Birdz, Omar Musa, L-Fresh the Lion, Parvyn Singh, The Herd, 360 and countless others.

“He’s someone always at the cusp of what’s next, pushing forward new and unexplored ideas in a way that makes it feel like his specialty.” – Pilerats, Hayden Davies (Joelistics Presents Film School)

I’ve worked with so many performers and artists since playing in TZU, but am to this day struck by how unique Joel is as a voice in this country, even the world. He carries a rare breed of intelligence, politics, passion and wit and his skill-set with words, electronic music, sound design, performance and most importantly collaboration secures him a special place in the Australian mythos. Joel pushes boundaries, pushes buttons, plucks at your heart and yells in your face, makes you stop and think; he is experimental, fierce, funny and wise in ways that make you want to start your life anew. His current work and commitment to professional development points to a rich future co-creating the Australian voice in music, art and literature. He pursues new techniques, tools, and collaborators with voracity and heart. He speaks truth to power, but it’s his capacity to bring people together and find common voice that gives his career such momentum. I unreservedly recommend Joel for this important fellowship, with the knowledge that he will take its outcomes to new heights.

  • Pip Norman, Aria nominated artist and producer

one thing remains a constant, Joel’s passion and attraction to projects of the highest integrity, cultural importance and outstanding creativity. This passion for diverse and important art, only matched by his boundless talent, really sets Joel apart as an artist and collaborator. We at Mushroom Music hold his talents in the highest regard, he is a truly treasured part of our song writing roster and compel you to consider Joel Ma for the Sidney Myer Fellowship on the strength of his outstanding body of work and breadth of creativity. We could not think of a more deserving candidate.

  • Erol Yurdagul, Head of A+R Creative Mushroom Music

“Joelistics is operating here with the kind of alternative hip-hop sonics yet to reach the Australian scene – in large part because the country’s mainstream rap identity is still finding popular form. It’d be wise to watch his renewed second phase, particularly with the launch of his own label Odd Head Music.” – MTV (Joelistics Presents Film School)

As an artist, Joel imbues the qualities of good collaboration – sensitivity, openess, an understanding and empathy of multiple forms and a poignant humanity. His visionary approach to contemporary music and its involvement with film, dance, ancient tradition and modern life is under pinned with a social conscience and endless curiosity. To my mind, he is one of the most important contemporary artists working today and I believe him to be one of the treasures in the current Australian Arts and Cultural landscape; an artist who creates important work but also, through their collaborations and cultural connections, encourage other artists to test themselves and rise to extraordinary levels. I can think of no one more deserving of the Sidney Myer fellowship and feel secure in the knowledge that he will use the opportunity to create more exciting work and establish him as a major cultural figure.

  • Rhys Graham, Director, Daybreak Films


Joel wants Australian stages, theatres, screens and Festivals to reflect the population. He seeks out Artists and stories that reflect the Australia he feels is inclusive, safe and diverse. This commitment is demonstrated through the artists he chooses to work with and the projects he chooses to work on.

“A thrilling hour of theatre and the best kind of example why a diverse cultural landscape …is essential (In Between Two)”

****1/2 – The Music

I first met Joel when he was a performing artist in TZU, a group who famously challenged the norms of homophobia and toxic masculinity within the form of Australian Hiphop. I admired his bravery in combatting these issues and his total determination to see the landscape within the hip-hop world evolve to be a more diverse and inclusive space. I have seen Joel mentor, coach and collaborate with people from a range of backgrounds, age groups and identities and in the process, create lasting changes in their lives. His generous bridging of worlds, sharing of knowledge and connections and visionary approach to re-imagining the creative landscape is something we should all be thankful for. He is exactly the artist the Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship should support…someone who laid the foundations of a more inclusive sector back in the days of TZU, and someone who today continues to live his values through his actions.

  • Ariel Blum, Grid Series co-founder

His work was informed by a cultural sensitivity balanced by high artistic ideals and his legacy includes programs such as the Multifuturism event and Visible mentorship program which birthed amazing collaborations of inter-generational, inter-faith and diverse artistic output of the highest calibre.

  • Freyja macfarlane, Senior producer, Frankston City Council

As a female producer and DJ I am very much aware of the gender imbalance within the industry. I often have people talk to me about diversity in the Electronic Dance and Hiphop scene in Australia but Joel is one person I know who doesn’t just talk about it he genuinely does something about it. When he first asked me to DJ for him two years ago I was only aware of one other female DJ for an MC in the Australian HipHop scene, this was a great opportunity for me and after almost every Joelistics show the feedback I get from audience members is how exciting it is a too see a female who is up there ‘bringin it’ (common Hiphop language for doing very well) In the time we have been working together Joel has been one of the most influential people in my music development and career. He is a great mentor and artist and is entirely dedicated to the betterment of the music industry.

  • Beatrice Lewis, Haiku Hands, DJ Beatrice, Go Sky

Joel is an extraordinary artist, advocate, and instigator. A tireless creative, his work across genres is always thoughtful in conception, playful in approach, and outstanding in quality. A natural collaborator with an artistic and personal generosity, Joel is truly a creative leader in Australian contemporary arts.

Joel’s projects spearhead the development of Australian new music. He makes work which is truly contemporary: it is absolutely of the here and now, and at the same time represents the future through its cohesive vision of broad, multi-genre, and intercultural collaboration.

  • Emily Tulloch, Artistic director At nexus Arts Adelaide

Joel’s music is varied and prolific, political and meaningful. He is constantly exploring new ideas and approaches and reaching out to musicians and artists from the Asian community. Recently, I have participated in the Film School shows directed by Joel, working with master dancers Tony Yap and Umi Umiumare along with amazing musicians playing post rock, jazz and noise music. I think Joel is perfect for the Sidney Myer Fellowship and believe his best work is about to happen.

  • Mendy Meng Wang, Artist

In my opinion Joel Ma is one of the most exciting contemporary Australian artists working in our industry and I feel very strongly that he is exactly the kind of artist we should be supporting and nurturing, just as he supports and nurtures the community of artists around him. I have no doubts that Joel will continue to be an artist who pushes the envelope of Australian songwriting and will go on to inspire many more young artists to follow in his footsteps. As such it is with great enthusiasm that I recommend him for the Sidney Myer Fellowship in 2021.

  • Mojo Ruiz de Luzuriaga, Artist Mo’Ju (AKA Mojo Juju)

Joel is an outstanding musician and champion for change across our contemporary music sector. Through both his work as a musician, program manager and mentor, he has dedicated his career to empowering and elevating the voices of young people of colour and young people from low socio-economic backgrounds. I have seen first-hand the impact Joel has had in directly engaging with these communities through his work at The Push as a past board member, performer at our signature events, and mentor across a range of our vocational mentoring programs.

Joel is committed to ensuring all young people can have equal access to participate in contemporary music, and as a leader in our community, has worked tirelessly to address the many barriers that exist.

  • Kate Duncan, CEO at The Push