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  • Jennifer Janz

RAS BANAMUNGU & The Det-n-ators International

Smiling Face of Australia is the latest release for Western Australia based musician Idi (Ras) Banamungu.

Ras is a multi-award winning artist who has enjoyed international success with his band Ras Banamungu And The Det-n-ators International, specifically their track I am Messenjah which received generous radio play across the globe, including in major cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Tokyo, Osaka and Hong Kong.

Ras is no stranger to accumulating accolades, winning the prestigious Akademia award and Poze productions award for best album and EP with I am Messenjah and Let’s Make our Business Forgiveness. Smiling Face of Australia, like My Sunshine the single preceding it, once again marries reggae, roots music, rock, and Afrobeat styles but it is the lyric which is perhaps the more compelling element. As Idi has said: ‘This song is like my short review telling the whole world how beautiful Australia is, how good the Australian people are and how well they manage to share their happiness to all people from all nations and all cultures. Australia is a multi-cultural country, but people live in peace. In this I express my emotions, how I love Australian people.’

‘‘This song is like my short review telling the whole world how beautiful Australia is.

The song kicks off with what at first sounds like a series of disjointed accents and phrases but as it builds it soon becomes apparent that these initial characteristics of dynamism are all part of the overall rhythmic sensuality of the song; one that weaves in and out of accessibility while maintaining a core element of sustained energy that keeps one attentive and willing. And with a title like that, not to mention the well-meaning motivation behind it all, underscoring the song, one can only let themselves get drawn in.

When asked about his sound the enigmatic musician says: ‘I think it’s wide open for a brand-new sound and that’s where I come in. My African and reggae influences blend well with western rock and pop influences, they work perfectly. I baptized my style Shakalaka Doo.’ And there you have it, Shakalaka Doo as heard in Smiling Face of Australia.



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