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Song You Need to Know: Andrew Gurruwiwi Band, ‘Wata Mäwi’

The NT band released their vibrant debut album, ‘Sing Your Own Song’, this month

Andrew Gurruwiwi Band


Keep the fire burning this winter with the Andrew Gurruwiwi Band from Yirrkala, NT. 

Led by the titular Andrew Gurruwiwi, a keytar-wielding Yolngu elder, this powerhouse outfit follows in the footsteps of music icons like Yothu Yindi and, more recently, indie rockers King Stingray with their modern Aboriginal music sung primarily in native tongue.

Their long-awaited debut album, Sing Your Own Song, released this month bursts with vibrant rhythms and joyful tunes that celebrate their culture. 

Featuring an impressive global lineup including the horn section from Kiwi dub fusionists Sub-Tribe, West African-raised guitar maestro Moussa Diakite, Yothu Yindi bassist Stu Kellaway, American violinist QVLN, and guitar wizard Frances Diatschenko (Gurrumul/The Sheikhs), Gurruwiwi and his co-producers – multi-instrumentalist Julian Belbachir and guitarist Andrew Grimes – have crafted infectious grooves that’ll get you moving, highlighted by the soul-stirring opener “Wata Mäwi”. 

 “Wata Mäwi”, steeped in reggae grooves, draws its name from an ancient Gälpu song tradition recounting the origins and journey of the West Wind.

“It’s about making our own sound, our own music,” Gurruwiwi says. “Every time when we play music, we listen for the big sound – then we change it. Do it a different way. Different style. Whether it’s the bass, or the keyboard, or the guitar or the bongo, we change it ‘round, until we can get the right beat, the right rhythm. Our sound.”

Grimes adds: “To get to a point where we’re now putting this body of work out, where every song is so different, but you can tell it’s from the same band – we love that. “It’s our own, and we’re very proud. In our hearts, we knew the answer lay along this path, by going our own way. Singing our own song.”

Bringing their music closer to their far-flung fans, the Andrew Gurruwiwi Band have upcoming tour dates from July to August, including appearances at Gatjirrk Festival, Bak’bididi Festival, and Yidiyi Festival. Stay updated with their tour dates via the band’s social media.

 Andrew Gurruwiwi Band’s “Wata Mäwi” and Sing Your Own Song are out now.