It’s not often you’ll hear an artist’s birthplace described as “a waterhole near Kaltukatjara,” For the unfamiliar, it’s a remote area of the Australian desert powered by just 3 generators where, in 2009, feral camels outnumbered the human population by about 20 to 1. There began the life of Frank Yamma.
Yamma’s songs have been likened to a ‘soulful shout of pain’ as he illuminates Aboriginal people’s stories. Growing up in the larger northern community of Alice Springs, he and his seven brothers played with their father Isaac Yamma, a country singer and one of the earliest artists to sing Western-style songs in traditional languages. He then performed in several local groups before forming Piranpa (meaning "white" - a reference to the other band members being ‘whitefellas’). That group grabbed a ‘Deadly' award - a modern aboriginal colloquialism for 'cool, rockin, fantastic.’ For the last 20 years, with production and backing support from Not Drowning Waving’s David Bridie, he’s developed a distinctive solo career that gained wide attention in 2010 with the release of his album Countryman.
Born into a community of 300, Yamma is now making waves around the globe with his combination of lonely, thought-provoking and powerful lyrics, layered over a raw, powerful combination of gutsy bluesy-folk and country ballads.