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Gurrumul & Blue King Brown UK single release April 11th 2011

March 25, 2011 by  

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Gurrumul & Blue King Brown UK single release April 11th 2011

‘Gathu Mawula’ Revisited: a rare collaboration by two amazing Australian Artists, Geoffrey ‘Gurrumul’ Yunupingu & Blue King Brown.

Musical collaborations are hardly rare and rarely special, but occasionally there are exceptions to the rule and Gathu Mawula [revisited] by Blue King Brown and Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu is both rare and special.

The song originally appeared on Gurrumul’s eponymous debut album where he sung it completely in the Yolgnu language. It is a song about family, about the land and about our essential connection to it. In this [revisited] version reproduced and released by Blue King Brown, Natalie Pa‘apa’a literally raps-it-up in English for us all and reiterates some of life’s simple truths, lending her melodic vocals in a unique verse feature. With Natalie’s distinct vocal, & Blue King Brown’s urban production edge next to Gurrumul’s smooth and subtle tones this delicate Arnhem Land classic is now given new life in this alternative and exciting incarnation.

Dubbed “Australia’s most important voice” by Rolling Stone and “the greatest voice this continent has ever recorded” by the Sydney Morning Herald, Gurrumul is regarded as a national treasure. His self-titled album, on which ‘Gathu Mawula’ appears, received countless awards on its release in Australia and subsequently topped the UK world music charts in 2009. Born blind, Gurrumul grew up as a member of the Gumatj clan on Elcho Island, off the coast of tropical North East Arnhem Land. The enigmatic Aboriginal musician first came to attention when he released his eponymous self-titled debut in 2008 to international acclaim. Sung in the Yolnu dialect of Arnhem land, Gurrumul’s music became an international sensation transcending cultural boundaries.

His angelic voice connected with listeners worldwide including Elton John and Sting who are fans. He even performed a live acoustic duet of the Police’s “Every Breath You Take” with Sting on French television and was asked by Elton John to open shows at the Sydney Opera House. As a teenager, Gurrumul was a member of Yothu Yindi, the groundbreaking Aboriginal ensemble.

“Since Gurrumul’s solo success a lot of people have come to him with collaborative ideas. He hasn’t done any of them. Yet when Blue King Brown learned one of his songs and played it live at a gig, he was very pleased and excited to join them on stage and sing it with them. It was this natural musical get together, that made the possibility of the collaboration turn into something that could be realised. Gurrumul’s solo albums only showcase one side of his potential as a contemporary singer, with his delicate and subtle expression over an acoustic accompaniment. But, as you hear on this version of Gathu Mawula, he is just as comfortable singing over a full band at a high volume and energy. He loves this version.” says Michael Hohnen Gurrumul’s manager and producer.

“The beauty about this project is that both artists had a mutual respect for each other’s craft and wanted to do something together purely for the love of it, there was no strings, agendas or expectations. There was no rush, it took us two years to complete and the end result is not a typical sound you’d hear from either of us. It has been a very enjoyable & special collaboration.” says Carlo Santone of Blue King Brown

Natalie Pa‘apa’a adds “We have very fond memories of performing Gathu Mawula live with Gurrumul on a number of different occasions, so it was natural to get into the studio together and record our version of his beautiful song. His voice is intoxicating, I think both of our audiences, and hopefully many more new listeners, will connect with this version.”

Hailed by Santana as “The voice of the street and the band of the future!” the 8 to 11 piece powerhouse band that is Blue King Brown bring their cross generational grooves and socially conscious sound. The infectious energy and passion from lead singer, guitarist and percussionist Natalie Pa’apa’a is a driving musical force that has led Blue King Brown through an impressive touring history playing major festivals and venues in Australia through to USA, Canada, Japan and Europe. Blue King Brown continue to deliver their now world renowned power packed live show featuring their home-grown, universally spoken language, delivered as hard hitting Urban Roots music..

Blue King Brown have also shared the global stage opening for Australian and international greats such as Santana, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Damien ‘Jr gong’ Marley, The John Butler Trio, The Cat Empire, Silverchair, Powderfinger to name a few. With recent recording trips to Kingston Jamaica and New York now under their belt, once again pushing genre boundaries, their latest releases are a testament to the rise of Blue King Brown – one of Australia’s greatest acts.



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