“Like fellow Yolngu artist Gurrumul, Gawurra commands attention regardless of backdrop” – Rolling Stone, 4.5 stars
Melbourne based Stanley Gawurra Gaykamangu is a Yolngu performer hailing from Arnhem Land with a deeply resonant voice and musical sensitivity to match. He was born on the Gove Peninsula and spent time as a child on his grandmother’s land of Yathalamara before moving to live on Milingimbi Island with his family.
Gawurra won the NT Song of the Year in the Pop category last year for the demo version of his song Ratja Yaliyali, which was the lead single on his debut album of the same name, released on 8 April 2016 through CAAMA Music. A beautiful melody, and a well-known Yolngu Songline, Ratja Yaliyali [pronounced Rart-ja yarl-i yarl-i] translates to Vine of Love; a thread of love that keeps everything connected. When Yolngu people hear it they feel the spirit in their hearts. If they have a problem or feel gloomy, they listen to Ratja Yaliyali as it touches them and builds their spirit making them stronger and brighter. On 10 June, the day of the debut of his second single, Burala (Diving Duck) his album was #1 on the iTunes world music chart in Australia.
Gawurra is a gentle and genuine young leader. He is due to be an Elder in his community; the Old people gave him this knowledge and power. It is important for him to teach his kids, brothers and sisters the ‘right way’. Gawurra is passionate about keeping his Gupapungu language strong.