Review by Vince Leigh
Idi Banamungu, the West Australian based vocalist, songwriter, percussionist and long- experienced music therapist, has just released Smiling Face of Australia, the follow-up to his hugely successful single My Sunshine and this new track is sure to, indeed, put a smile on your face.
It is jubilant sounding yet has a layer of pertinence about it also. Utilising a blend of reggae, roots music, blues, and Afrobeat, Smiling Face of Australia is an exciting, hypnotic, and seductive track whose inspiration is itself inspirational.
As Idi (also known as Ras) has said about the stirring new track:
“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 multicultural country, but people live in peace. In this I express my emotions; how I love Australian people.”
Smiling Face of Australia begins with a series of startling vocal and percussion dynamics that soon become a riveting, strange yet feel-good and alluring concoction of a dance record; it’s meant as much for your feet as it is for your heart.
Ras Banamungu and The Det-n-ators International are an exciting live act that incorporate dancers and backing vocalists. Having also won the prestigious Akademia award and Poze Productions award for best album and EP with I Am Messenjah and Let’s Make our Business Forgiveness, the celebrated Rastafarian was also awarded for his heart-stopping live performance at the Coast to Coast awards in Melbourne 2019.
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.