All Yolŋu ‘King Stringray’ group goals have been scored in the past year


It’s been a year since King Stingray released his first single ‘Hey Wanhaka’, and despite pandemic restrictions, the boys have been busy.

Hailing from Yirrkala, a community in East Arnhem Land, King Stingray is made up of Yirrŋa Yunupiŋu (singer and didgeridoo player), Roy Kellaway (guitarist) Dimathaya Burarrwanga (guitarist) Campbell Messer (bass) and Lewis Stiles (drums).

The five musicians gave their first concert in December last year and are currently on tour with Australian musical group Yothu Yindi.

Yothu Yindi is made up of aboriginal and balanda (non-aboriginal) members and was formed in 1986 by the amalgamation of two groups – a white rock band called the Swamp Jockeys and an unnamed aboriginal folk group.

“We like to think that we bring people together in music,” Roy Kellaway said Rolling Stone Australia. “Fun underlies everything we do and we hope that when people see us live they can join us. “

King Stingray was signed to Bargain Bin Records in October 2020 and released his debut single “Hey Wanhaka”, accompanied by a music video, shortly thereafter.

The group reached new heights of success when they clinched the coveted spot on Australia’s No. 1 most played track on triple j in August of this year with “Get Me Out”.

Despite the social distancing restrictions caused by COVID-19, King Stingray still managed to visit parts of Australia this year. They played Dark Mofo in Hobart, Splendor In The Grass XR and completely sold their first tour in March and April of this year.

While their touring schedule has been impressive given the circumstances, the boys say they are just getting started. King Stingray is hoping to make an imminent national tour and release his debut album early next year.

“We’ll see what happens on a collaborative level, but we’ve had so much optimism and support from people it’s crazy,” Kellaway said.

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