New gen Indigenous Australian artist Yirrmal Marika, from North-East Arnhem Land, has made a refreshing entrance into the music scene. Inspired by his Grandfather, Dr M Yunupingu, former lead singer of Yothu Yindi, he fuses tradition and contemporary with class and passion. Yirrmal is an inspiring songwriter and guitarist with a beautiful voice, singing songs about his homeland and culture with feeling and depth beyond his years. He openly shares his identity, spirit and connection to the land and engages the hearts of those that are lucky enough to hear him.
Yirrmal is related to the late Dr G Yunupingu on his mother’s side, and his father, Witiyana Marika, was a singer and dancer in Yothu Yindi. He has extensive knowledge of traditional Yolngu “Manikay” songs, and he is also an excellent dancer and didgeridoo “yidaki” player. His powerful live performances are something every Australian should experience.
Yirrmal lived in Victoria for 7 years where he focused on his education and participated in the Marrma’ Rom Two Worlds Leadership Program. Yirrmal has now returned home to Yirrkala in the NT and aims to set an example for Indigenous youth and to be a strong, positive role-model for the next generation.
Over the past 3 years Yirrmal worked with song-writing mentors Neil Murray, Shane Howard and released his debut EP ‘Youngblood’ in November 2016. The release was followed by a short regional Victorian and interstate tour. Yirrmal will release his first full-length album recording later in 2018.
Recent highlights have been performing at the Folk International Alliance Conference in Kansas, touring the North West Territories of Canada, Woodford 2017-18, WOMADelaide, Bluesfest-Boomerang Festival, Commonwealth Games, Australia Day performances with Channel 10 and SBS. Highlights also include performing ‘Treaty’ as a special guest with Midnight Oil at their sold out shows at Hanging Rock and Sydney and being the support act for The Waifs for their February Melbourne show.
You can watch Ernie Dingo interview Yirrmal on SBS on Demand here: https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/1536219715506/going-places-with-ernie-dingo-yirrkala