Yothu Yindi, Cold Chisel, UB40
Delson Stokes Jnr / Boyd Stokes / Jade Masters / Roy Martinez / Tim Ayre / Lilly Gogos / Tony Shaw
The Pigram Brothers, Dire Straits, Yothu Yindi
Gundulla - We Dance Winner of Five WA Music Industry Awards!
WA Indigenous Act of the Year 2009!
WA Indigenous Contemporary Album of the Year 2009!
WA Guitarist of the Year - Boyd Stokes 2009!
WA Drummer of the Year - Jade Masters 2009!
WA Indigenous Song of the Year | 'Gundulla - We Dance' 2008!
Since beginning at the age of five, multi-talented brothers, Delson and Boyd Stokes, known today as ‘The Yabu Band’, have created a powerful, unique sound aptly described as Desert Rock/Reggae. The brothers are originally from Kalgoorlie, the Goldfields town bordered by the Western Desert from where they draw their heritage, culture and inspiration, and the name “Yabu” means “Rock/Gold” in their language, Wongatha. Through performances at the WA Australian of the Year Awards, The Oz Concert, The Homecoming of the Beijing Olympic athletes, Aus-Aid, The Survival Concert and airplay on NITV, ‘Yabu’ have garnered a well-earned reputation as one of the most impressive Indigenous acts in Australia. Accolades such as the “Indigenous Song of the Year Award” have flowed from music industry professionals and these have underlined a deep respect from their own community. “Yabu” have honed a truly dynamic stage presence. The ever-charismatic Delly captivates audiences with his highly individual passion and charm, his vocals emphatically complemented by the blistering commentary of his shy, self-effacing brother’s guitar playing.
Since Petrol, Paint & Glue was released in 2012, Delly and Boyd have dedicated their lives to working with remote communities and helping disadvantaged youth understand their role in upholding Indigenous culture in the modern day. In 2020, they returned to the studio as mature men ready to take on the role of the Songmen and bridge the gap between the campfire and contemporary life.
In Indigenous Australian culture, the Songman makes sense of everyday struggles and relates them to the Thoorgoorba – Law of Country and Mind – or Law of Nature and what makes us human. By sharing this important role, and writing music to evoke thought and meaning, Delson and Boyd plan to create a path where we all walk side-by-side. Through music, Yabu Band endeavour to educate and encourage young people to grow strong and recognise the contemporary relevance in ancient culture, while also building a vision of unity between Indigenous Australians and the wider Australian community.
Written early 2020, EP's first single released, A Cry in the Wind, relates to the struggles the Stokes brothers’ ancestors faced during the time of the Stolen Generation and refers to the enduring relevance of traditional philosophies. It was inspired by one family photo in particular.
“Our family has an old photo of our great, great grandfather - a strong, proud man with mud locks and many tribal marks. The child his wife carries on her hip is our dad’s dad. The call of that old man, the cry of that child, the whisper in the trees - that’s our music. That’s a cry in the wind,” says Delson Stokes.
A Cry in the Wind was heard first by an intimate live audience in November 2020 along with other tracks from the upcoming EP which will be released in early 2021. The album will be sung in language and English to tune the ears of Australians to the musical quality of Aboriginal languages, to strengthen culture and convey that message of unity so important to Delson and Boyd.
The album's sophomore single, Peacemaker, will be released on January 26, 2021. Yabu Band chose to release the single on Survival Day, as a way to acknowledge the past while simultaneously walking together towards a brighter future.
“We need to remember the old way, but also walk the new way, which is towards unity and reconciliation,” says Delson. Stokes explains that Yabu Band is actually a multicultural band - in addition to the Stokes brothers, the band is comprised of musicians from Africa and America, and Stokes hopes songs like Peacemaker will inspire all Australians to work towards a brighter future.