Scene News: Radical Son Shares New Single YULUWIRRI WANDABAA (THE RAINBOW DREAMING)

Featuring Emma Donovan and Frank Yamma New Album BILAMBIYAL(THE LEARNING) Due Out July 12

A celebration of ceremony and culture, the brand new single Yuluwirri Wandabaa (The Rainbow Dreaming) from Kamilaroi and Tongan artist Radical Son combines powerful storytelling with driving delivery, with Radical Son also joined on this magnetic track by revered Indigenous Australian singer-songwriter Emma Donovan and Pitjantjatjara singer-songwriter Frank Yamma. Also set to feature on Radical Son’s upcoming sophomore album Bilambiyal (The Learning), due out next month, Yuluwirri Wandabaa (The Rainbow Dreaming) once again finds Radical Son delivering artistry that is equal parts dynamic and meaningful.

Bringing together three quality First Nations artists, Yuluwirri Wandabaa (The Rainbow Dreaming) opens with Radical Son, aka David Leha’s, inescapably gripping vocals, declaring “Spirit Dreaming / Serpent Dreaming / The Rainbow Dreaming” before the track instrumentally swells to match its emphatic thematics. Firmly driven alongside Radical Son’s delivery by effusive percussion and colourful yet urgent ambience, Yuluwirri Wandabaa (The Rainbow Dreaming) takes further flight courtesy of the powerhouse guest vocals provided from Emma Donovan and Frank Yamma, with the single building to interplay all three artists in an unforgettable climax. “Emma, Frank and I recorded separately,” shares Radical Son of bringing Yuluwirri Wandabaa (The Rainbow Dreaming) to life alongside Donovan and Yamma. “I was really sick the week I had flown to Melbourne to record. The recording sessions were long days and one of the guys had to pump me up full of medicines to get me through the those days. I don’t know how we did it – but it came out sounding pretty good.”

Thrilled to be a part of powerful song, Donovan adds, “What a big, important song from Songman Radical Son, teaching me as I sing alongside him with our Uncle Frank, such an honour to be a part of these new song.”

Along with the mesmerising addition of Donovan and Yamma on Yuluwirri Wandabaa (The Rainbow Dreaming), Radical Son also worked alongside Marcus Longfoot and David Bridie to pen the track, with Mitch McGregor on percussion, Phil Wales on guitar, and programming courtesy of Longfoot and Andrew Robinson. And, as with much of Radical Son’s creative endeavours, the beating heart behind his incredible new track is one of passion and advocacy for culture and for connection in the modern age, as he elaborates, I absolutely love this song. A song about ceremony and culture. There is so much depth in our Culture and Country. Country provides us a way of living and sustenance both physically and mentally. It provides the story and the way. It is there for us. Right in front of us. The only thing is we don’t see it as we are looking at the screens that stand between us.”

Joining recent singles Until You Call My Name and Elder, Yuluwirri Wandabaa (The Rainbow Dreaming) offers yet another spellbinding glimpse into Radical Son’s upcoming new album Bilambiyal (The Learning), with the hotly anticipated full length set to further showcase Leha’s cultural connection, innate integrity and powerful perception across its 12 tracks. Releasing via Leha’s own label, Wantok Musik, and following on from his debut release Cause ‘N Affect, Bilambiyal (The Learning) was also crafted alongside a powerhouse team, including Full Circle Audio, Marcus Longfoot, Andy Robinson, David Bridie, Frank Yamma, Emma Donovan and many more. Opening with the starkly intimate Elder Reprise, Radical Son instantly conjures goosebumps as his almighty vocals soar, akin to standing on a mountaintop proclaiming: “I wish to be an Elder, before seamlessly oscillating between warm and soul-hued beauty (How Long Must I Wait), contemporary glow (All My Life) and the utterly calming balm of Until You Call My Name, with the latter straddling raw ambience and rousing vocals. And between shifting between reggae hues (Only One Life), glossy soul (A Golden Age) and rousing, iron-willed ballads (The Fall), Bilambiyal (The Learning) also fervently reflects Radical Son’s powerful devotion to his country and his soul, displayed with gusto via the stunning might of Elder, the album’s various spoken word interludes, and the vulnerable and unforgettable punch of Bilambiyal (The Learning)’s title track.

One of the most compelling artists in the Australian cultural scene, Radical Son, the son of an Aboriginal woman and Tongan man, channels his experiences from his past into immense power and resolve, with his trademark sound pulsing with the urgency of hip hop and emotionally-charged soul. A festival favourite, cemented by his show-stopping cover of his mentor Uncle Archie Roach’s Walking Into Doors in 2022, Radical Son has performed to standing ovations at Bluesfest, St Kilda Festival, VIVID, the AFL Dreamtime 2032 game, and the official Uncle Archie Roach memorial in Melbourne and Sydney.

A highly skilled concert artist, with performances alongside classical ensembles and high-profile collaborations under his belt, Radical Son’s artistry also expands to film and TV, with credits including Defining Moments, a six-part NITV documentary exploring life-defining experiences, and theatre work, including the lead role of Pemulwuy in I am Eora at the 2012 Sydney Festival.

Studying as a musician at The Eora Centre for Visual and Performing Arts in Redfern, as well completing a Bachelor of Music from Newcastle Conservatorium, Radical Son’s creative prowess and steadfast substance is only matched by his otherworldly stage presence that repeatedly transfixes; and this fact is only set to heighten with the upcoming release of Bilambiyal (The Learning), and an upcoming performance in July as part of QPAC’s Warriors Concert for 2024’s Clancestry Festival in Brisbane.

“I have put the work in to improve as a vocalist, and I think that will show,” shares Radical Son of what fans can expect from his upcoming performance. “I think it’s important to stand up as an Indigenous man and share what is important to me. I’m grateful that I have the ability and the option to do so.”

“I am excited to be releasing our album Bilambiyal (The Learning),” Radical Son concludes. “I am very proud of this work and grateful to those who have collaborated with me to bring it to life.”

Yuluwirri Wandabaa (The Rainbow Dreaming) is out now via Wantok Musik.

Bilambiyal (The Learning) is due out on Friday July 12.

RADICAL SON – UPCOMING SHOWS:

WED 31 JULY | QPAC, BRISBANE QLD| ALL AGES
Tickets available from https://www.qpac.com.au/whats-on/2024/clancestry-warriors

Listen: YULUWIRRI WANDABAA (THE RAINBOW DREAMING)