NEW RELEASE - Bright Lights Big City

Out on iTunes June 13, 2014

Bright Lights Big City from East Journey on Vimeo. - East Journey work with Yothu Yindi on new EP

A momentous cultural shift is occurring in the Northern Territory, and at its centre are Arnhem Land-based supergroup East Journey and their spiritual and musical forebears, Yothu Yindi.
In just more than two years since releasing their acclaimed debut full-length Guwak, the close-knit East Journey -- who roll ten-deep in the flesh -- have been steadily gathering momentum, culminating in this week's release of new single Bright Lights, Big City and its accompanying video.
A product of the collective's time visiting metropolitan centres following Guwak's release, Bright Lights... saw the band -- currently hard at work in the studio on their impending EP of the same name -- collaborate with and mentored by Yothu Yindi originals Ben Hakalitz, Buruka Tau and Stu Kellaway, while they drew on the filmmaking talents of National Indigenous Music Award-winning director Naina Sen, who is renowned for her extensive work for and with Gurrumul.

13th June - The Age - Next generation of Arnhem Land rockers take flight

The late Yunupingu often expressed the intention that his ground-breaking band from Arnhem Land should rock on after his departure. This August, his wish will begin to unfold with Bright Lights Big City, an EP by his grandson Rrawun Maymuru's band East Journey featuring Yothu Yindi. Original members Ben Hakalitz, Buruka Tau and Stu Kellaway have mentored the new generation of guitar-yidaki rockers from Yirrkala to carry a distinctive musical thread from the heyday of Treaty. The title track, out now, was produced in Los Angeles by Stevie Salas, a former guitarist for Mick Jagger and Rod Stewart.

13th June - NT News - East Journey releases new single

THE grandson of the late Dr M Yunupingu will collaborate with the remaining members of Yothu Yindi on a new release.
East Journey frontman Rrawun Maymuru and his band will work with the legendary Territory group on upcoming EP Bright Lights Big City.
The project was produced by one of the creative minds behind the Rolling Stones, Stevie Salas.


'Bright Lights Big City' is the latest single release from Arnhem Land supergroup East Journey, taken from the upcoming album "East Journey featuring Yothu Yindi: The Genesis Project".

"Explosive!" - Rolling Stone Magazine

East Journey are a young, exciting and dynamic rock supergroup from Indigenous music rock royalty beginnings in North East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia.

This exciting fusion of sizzling rock and acoustic tempered with the earthy traditional sounds of the yidaki and bilma, is forming a vibrant and fresh direction for Australian Indigenous Music.

East Journey bring live to the stage a stunning visual powerhouse that will leave you breathless. Their live performances are every bit as compelling as their recordings, and more.

"The appearance by young Arnhem Land band East Journey caused a stampede by the 2500-strong audience to the front of the stage at the Darwin Amphitheatre" - The Music Network

Lead vocalist Rrawun Maymuru penned the hit song 'Bayini' which gave Gurrumul his first No.1 ARIA Chart position in 2013, and together with the gradual East Journey rise, it has provided the band with a solid slice of city life.

'Bright Lights Big City'; the first single from "The Genesis Project", is a result of this experience.

It’s about how we live in a fast moving, shrinking global village with all the pressures and deadlines of modern life. How we forget to live in the moment and reflect that life is for living now; and how we can remain centered and strong and think about what is really important to us and remain balanced.


'Bright Lights Big City' is a guitar driven song accompanied with yidaki beats that travel along a solid groove in the rhythmic bass and drum lines.

Released on June 13, 2014 with a perceptive film clip directed and produced by National Indigenous Music Award winning film-maker Naina Sen, the single 'Bright Lights Big City' is taken from “The Genesis Project" due out September 2014.

Produced by charismatic rocker Stevie Salas (ex American Idol Musical Director) for South Apache Productions, (an LA producer and talented musician in his own right) who has worked with the likes of Mick Jagger, Aerosmith, George Clinton, Parliament Funk, Justin Timberlake and Rod Stewart; the upcoming "The Genesis Project" heralds in a new dawn for young supergroup East Journey.

East Journey are mentored by original members of Yothu Yindi, including Ben Hakalitz, Buruka Tau and Stuart Kellaway, with special thanks to Witiyana Marika.

East Journey are: Rrawun Maymuru, Gathapura Mununggurr, Patrick (PJ) White, Arian Pearson, Ngalkanbuy Mununggurr, Marcus Marawili and Malngay Yunupingu.

Dancer Milika Blackie-Smith Marika appears in the 'Bright Lights Big City' music video, courtesy of Moonfish Productions.

Special thanks to our supporters Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation, Gumatj Aboriginal Corporation, Yothu Yindi, Yalmay Yunupingu and the family of the late Dr M Yunupingu, Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation,  Lirrwi Yolgnu Tourism Aboriginal Corporation, Laynhapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corporation, Buku Larnggay Mulka Art Centre, and Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation, all based in remote Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia."


Healing stone gathers no moss

As Yothu Yindi enter the Hall of Fame sunset, East Journey represent a new dawn for Arnhem Land's songlines.
The late Dr Yunupingu had his secession plan worked out 15 years ago. In the lobby of a Perth hotel, even as he talked up Yothu Yindi's progressive new single, Superhighway, he was clear his position was finite.
Younger members were being groomed to take over, to continue with the music and the message, said the lifelong educator and one-time Australian of the Year. His vision for Yothu Yindi - literally ''child and mother'' - was about future generations.
Treaty, co-written with Paul Kelly, was the first song in an Aboriginal language to reach the music charts and the first top-40 hit by an Aboriginal band.
It hit number six on the US Billboard club chart too, and put a procession of Arnhem Land musicians on the international touring circuit for a decade.
The recent success of Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, from nearby Elcho Island, has not so much eclipsed as built on that legacy.
East Journey's debut album, Guwak, was released in April.
Such cultural and career foundations are obviously strong, though Maymuru is keenly aware that the next step involves a song as clear and powerful as Treaty.
He has not written it yet, he says, but he thinks he knows the title: Unity. ''Maybe it's the bloodline that runs from our great-great-great grandfather right up here that we are all musicians in this family in our own rights,'' he says. ''Because in a tribal way, we know we are strong people that can carry our culture. And we can sing.''

Music elders award next generation

13/09/12 - "It's fertile territory, out there in the northeast reaches of Arnhem Land. It spawned two of Australia's best-known musical artists, Yothu Yindi and Gurrumul, and the musical traditions run deep.

Even so, Rrawun Maymuru, the charismatic lead singer of Yirrkala nine-piece East Journey, felt a surge when he first saw Gurrumul's face staring out from the cover of Rolling Stone last year."

© 2016 East Journey

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