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KING STINGRAY Ray of sunshine

One of Australia’s most exciting new bands, King Stingray, have announced they are heading to Western Australia next month, hitting Rosemount Hotel on Saturday, February 26.

In its humble beginnings, the group was just a couple of mates stewing up hot tunes in an equally hot part of the Northern Territory bush. Now, little more than a year since they dropped their debut single, Hey Wanhaka in October 2020, these five Yolŋu (Aboriginal) and balanda (non-Indigenous) lads from north-east Arnhem Land and Queensland have become one of the fastest-rising Aussie acts of the past year.

In August 2021, King Stingray took out the enviable title of #1 Most Played Australian Track on triple j, for their accidental lockdown anthem, Get Me Out. The tune also landed at #8 in X-Press Magazine’s Top 21 Songs of 2021, where we described it as an “instant favourite” that “both city and country folk alike could sing along too.”

Mixing ancient Yolŋu manikay (songs) and bima (clapsticks) with hot electric guitars and searing lyrics, King Stingray have spent the past year dodging COVID-19 restrictions to wow crowds along the eastern states, with tour highlights including Dark Mofo in Hobart, Splendour In the Grass XR, and completely selling out their first ever tour in March/April 2021.

Frontman Yirriŋa Yunupiŋu and guitarist Roy Kellaway have direct bloodlines running from Aussie rock royalty Yothu Yindi, the ARIA-winning legends who gave voice to the push for Aboriginal recognition with timeless tracks like TreatyTribal Voice and One Blood.

Yirriŋa, whose name translates to “place of stingray,” is a young Gumatj clan songman from the seaside community of Yirrkala. He’s following in the footsteps of his pioneering uncle, Yothu Yindi founder Mandawuy Yunupiŋu, who passed away in 2013.

“Dr Yunupiŋu was a great man, a humble man, a knowledge man, and he’s a leader – sharing a message,” said Yirriŋa. “Now we’re here to build a bridge for our generation, for our future, for the kids, just to do the same things as he was doing, and he’s been through.”

King Stingray hit Rosemount Hotel on Saturday, February 26. For more info and to buy tickets head to oztix.com.au

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