Dynamic First Nations duo, MARLON X RULLA burst onto the scene in late 2020 bringing to life the on stage the bond that Marlon Motlop and Rulla Kelly-Mansell have. Developed over the roller coaster journey of playing sport together, facing health scares, being separated from family and brought together by their love of music and community.
Creating music that blends both their talents, MARLONâ€™s soulful R’n’B leaning vocals has garnered him comparisons to Ed Sheeran, and RULLA, an that bounces through a range of subject matters with vulnerability and high energy without confining to one specific genre. The end result of them together is something uniquely blended between soul / R’n’B and hip hop with a rock edge that perfectly encapsulates the shared charisma these two artists bring together.
Today marks the release of their first track as MARLON X RULLA, Unceded.
MARLON explains the motivation behind the track â€œIn July 2020, I can remember listening to the voices of First Nations People here in Australia, and their perspective on the Black Lives Matter movement across the world, and the backlash we were receiving for raising our voices in support. I recall sitting on the side of the road in a spot of angered reflection of our ancestry, and the challenges we have faced over a sustained period of time. Immediately I started writing, and for me, then and even still now, the essence of Unceded has always been about a courageous conversation, but sonically it represents unity and a deep spiritâ€.
You may already be familiar with the pair, as theyâ€™ve been circling the country supporting Xavier Rudd for the past 3 months, performed at some premiere events including NIMAs, WOMADelaide, Darwin Festival and played a part in the incredibly special Like A Version with the late Uncle Archie Roach for NAIDOC Week in July. Working with Trials on this release theyâ€™ve expressed the absolute honour itâ€™s been to have him produce the track, noting his knowledge, guidance and brotherhood approach to creating music has seen them grow as musicians but has deeply shaped their experience as Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people in the industry.
â€œIt feels like a long time coming in some sense as weâ€™ve been insanely busy playing shows to finally release another track. UNCEDED has brought us closer and itâ€™s a song people are taken back (in a good way) with how direct yet upbeat the song is! People are often moving and dancing but then listening, like hold on these boys definitely arenâ€™t mincing their words with this one. Itâ€™s essence is reflective yet makes you wanna nod your headâ€. – RULLA
Back by an all First Nations band, theyâ€™ve had a whirlwind 18 months gracing some of the biggest stages, sharing their energetic live show at WOMADelaide, opening for Midnight Oil or playing festivals like Bass in the Grass in Darwin, Party in the Apocalypse or Treaty. Finally their fast growing fan base gets a chance to listen to their powerful message with the release of their track Unceded today.
Recorded on Kaurna land, across a range of studios Twin Earth, Interim Studios and Wundenberg, with Trials at the helm of production, and featuring Fred Leone singing in language and performing Bargans (Boomerangs). The artwork was designed in collaboration with Wulli Wulli and Guwa artist Shane Cook, who has recently created artwork for the Adelaide Crows, UFC and Anthony Mundine. The track embodies their community mindset.
Unceded is out now – STREAM HERE
Connect with MARLON X RULLA
With thanks to Little Acorn Music