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SPOTLIGHT: Blue King Brown

Blue King Brown brings Indigenous understanding with grace, strength and 1love from down under to the international stage.

This summer Blue King Brown (BKB) bounced their way from Victoria to Tofino to Nelson, to the main stages of Winnipeg, Ottawa and Montreal Jazz and Blues Fests and even St John, NB. The live urban roots band is based out of Melbourne, Australia, and has been promoting urban dub, afro-beats, rock guitars and drums n’ bass internationally for 7 years – gracing stages in Europe, UK, USA and Japan.

Lead singer, Natalie Pa’apa’a, is originally from Samoa and brings a unique and energetic flavour to the group’s performance. This isn’t just dance music, these guys have a message for their global audience and it’s all about taking charge, working together, and thinking about ourselves as a GLOBAL community. BKB isn’t shy to talk about international politics – they are using their platform to bring light to issues of nuclear energy, mining, global warming and sex trafficking just to name a few.

In an interview with Press+1 Natalie was asked about BKB’s new album Worldwize:

We were looking at names and going through them and chucking them out really quickly and our bass player Carlo Santone said “Worldwize. No that’s stupid.” I said “Wait! That’s perfect.” For me it captures the philosophy and intention of our band to tour internationally and connect with people from all walks of life and to be up to date and aware of what’s happening with our people and our planet. Worldwize is about remembering that we are connected on this planet and that we have to make positive change.

The band began with Carlo Santone and Natalie Pa’apa’a as a percussion duo who also played together once in a band called Skin. The two started playing and writing their own music using just a guitar and whoever they could find to jam out with in Australia’s Byron Bay. From there, connections with other musicians formed  and they really took off after releasing their first single Water, a song about land rights and the stolen generation.

I don’t know where to stand
Up on the mountain or down in the sand
Because I like being way up high
I like being up, and I don’t know why
But up here I can see the walls
Built by man to divide us all
Making water deny us peace
They took away the land then they brought disease
Those white men who’ve got the keys
To the black man’s identity
And those lands were supposed to be forever

They got no heart, they got no right
And if you decide to fight
Just know that we can fight together

We’ll be the water for their fire

After the success of Water they released their first album Stand Up independently and haven’t looked back since. Their new full-length album Worldwize garnered 4 out of 5 stars from Rolling Stone Magazine and was just nominated for ‘Best Roots and Blues Album’ by Australia’s Aria Awards. Although Worldwize hasn’t been officially released in Canada yet, you can get their self titled Canadian release available on iTunes. Check out their website for new tracks and more info at bluekingbrown.com.

“BKB are one of those unique truth-telling outfits in our business that defy time. Amazing musicians with a powerful message.” – Serj Tankian (System of a down)

“They are the voice of the street and the band of the future!” – Carlos Santana

Check out the video here for Never Fade Away and get hooked!