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Ziggy Ramo Powerfully Advocates for Change on ‘Banamba’

After impressing last year with his powerful album, ‘Sugar Coated Lies’, Ziggy Ramo is already preparing its follow-up

Ziggy Ramo

Vanessa Swederus

After impressing last year with his powerful album, Sugar Coated Lies, Ziggy Ramo is already preparing its follow-up.

The Wik and Soloman Island rapper will release his forthcoming album, Human?, later this year, and it will feature new single “Banamba”, which is premiering on Rolling Stone AU/NZ below.

Releasing exactly one year to the day since Sugar Coated Lies dropped, “Banamba” honours those who have fought tirelessly for change on a date, January 26th, they are so often forgotten.

“How long will we play pretend / All things they must come to an end / We sell lies that we have to defend / One day we will pay the rent,” guest singer vonn passionately but sweetly sings.

Before the song kicks into life, “Banamba” opens with Aboriginal leader King Burraga’s 1933 call for representation in Federal Parliament and the right to live for Indigenous Australians; the unexpected opening acts as a timely reminder of how far this country still has left to go in the 21st century.

In the accompanying music video, which you can watch for the first time below, Ziggy brings viewers face-to-face with powerful protest footage from Australia’s rewritten past.

“”Banamba” means “change”, from the Birri Gubba language,” Ziggy explains. “During a studio session in 2021, Guyala Bayles shared the word with me and from conversation the song took shape. “Banamba” acknowledges the cost of Blak resilience. This video is dedicated to all people who have fought to make a difference for our communities. It’s a celebration of those brave enough to stop oppressive forces.”

“Archival footage acts as a collage of Blak resistance: The 1965 Freedom Rides, 67 Referendum, The Tent Embassy, Vincent Lingarri, Charlie Perkins … protest after protest. We might go about it in different ways, and not always agree about the best path to take – but ultimately we all want change. May we never lose sight of our humanity. A banamba is

In the final verse, Ziggy veers between anger and compassion: “It’s sickening we live in a system that killing my siblings,” he fires; “I wouldn’t wish this on my enemies… I wouldn’t wish this on humanity,” he goes onto say, his voice faltering under the weight of his emotions.

As an opening statement for its creator’s 2024, as an introduction to his new album, “Banamba” is mighty. Expectations are high for Ziggy’s new album following the success of Sugar Coated Lies: the rapper’s second album was named as one of Rolling Stone AU/NZ‘s 25 Best Australian Albums of 2023.

“The hip hop artist doesn’t hold back across 11 songs, navigating complex themes such as generational trauma and toxic masculinity, and more broadly reckoning with the inner conscience of our country and ourselves,” our review praised.

Ziggy Ramo’s “Banamba” is out Friday, January 26th.