Hilltop Hoods are an Australian hip hop group that formed in 1994 in Blackwood, Adelaide, South Australia. The group was founded by Suffa (Matthew David Lambert) and Pressure (Daniel Howe Smith), who were joined by DJ Debris (Barry John M. Francis) after fellow founder, DJ Next (Ben John Hare), left in 1999. The group released its first extended play, Back Once Again, in 1997 and have subsequently released seven studio albums, two “restrung” albums and three DVDs.
Five of their albums have peaked at number one on the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) Albums Charts: The Hard Road (2006), State of the Art (2009), Drinking from the Sun (2012), Walking Under Stars (2014) and Drinking from the Sun, Walking Under Stars Restrung (2016). Three tracks have reached the top 10 on the ARIA Singles Chart—”Chase That Feeling” (2009), “I Love It”, featuring Sia (2011) and “Higher”, featuring James Chatburn (2015)—while two tracks—”Cosby Sweater” (2014) and “1955” (2016)—have reached the top 5. Their song “1955” (2016), featuring Montaigne & Tom Thum, peaked at number 2 in the Australian charts.
Hilltop Hoods have toured both in Australia and overseas, including playing at music festivals: T in the Park, Oxegen, the Big Day Out, Clipsal 500, Southbound, The Great Escape, Splendour in the Grass, Bassinthegrass, Groovin’ The Moo, Falls Festival, Pyramid Rock Festival, Rollercoaster, Come Together Festival and Make Poverty History.
At the ARIA Music Awards of 2006 they won “Best Independent Release” and “Best Urban Album” for The Hard Road. In 2007, they won “Best Urban Album” for their remix album, The Hard Road: Restrung (2007). They won the same category in 2009 for State of the Art and in 2012 for Drinking from the Sun. In 2009, Debris also won “Engineer of the Year” for his work on State of the Art.
The first preview of the band’s seventh studio album, Walking Under Stars, was uploaded to the Hilltop Hoods SoundCloud page on 21 June 2014, and the Golden Era Records album was released in partnership with the Universal music company on 8 August 2014. The band received their seventh ARIA award in 2014 when Walking Under Stars won in the Best Urban Album category at the 28th ARIA Awards.