This summer, renowned South Sudanese/Australian vocalist Ajak Kwai is taking her full band on tour across regional Victoria and beyond, in support of 2021’s outstanding EP, Red Sands.
After winning hearts with her breakthrough album Let Me Grow My Wings, Ajak and the band have recorded their first release for Melbourne’s Music in Exile label, a not-for-profit championing Australian artists from refugee, migrant and diaspora backgrounds.
Red Sands is sonically akin to the groove-orientated, politically powerful afrobeat and funk sounds coming out of South and West African nations in the 1970’s, sitting somewhere between the infectious pop of the Lijadu Sisters and a more modern desert blues sound of groups like Tinariwen and Mdou Moctar. Drawing inspiration from socially conscious, outspoken, and hands-down powerful vocalists such as Aretha Franklin, Fela Kuti and Emma Donavon, Ajak uses her music as a vehicle to draw subtle attention to prejudice, bias and discrimination as it exsits in Australian soceity today, all the while fulfilling her desire to pack dancefloors and bring audiences together in celebration of the great power of music as a connecting force in our community.
Ajak and her band will be joined at select dates by Melbourne-based soul singer Allysha Joy, performing material from her recent Light it Again EP and the incredible Acadie:Raw album, as well as joining the band onstage for a very special guest appearance.
Catch Ajak and her band on tour February through April 2022. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, as well as Creative Victoria and all the kind patrons and supporters of Music in Exile.