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 seperated from family and brought together by their love of music and community.
Creating music that blends both their talents, MARLON’s soulful rnb 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/rnb and hip hop with a rock edge that perfectly encapsulates the shared charisma these two artists bring together.
MARLON explains the motivation behind the track “In 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 spirit”. You may already be familiar with the pair, as they’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 Uncle Archie Roach for NAIDOC week in July.
Working with Trials on this release they’ve expressed the absolute honour it’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 Torre-Strait islander people in the industry. “It feels like a long time coming in some sense as we’ve been insanely busy playing shows to finally release another track. UNCEDED has brought us closer and it’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 aren’t mincing their words with this one. It’s essence is reflective yet makes you wanna nod your head”. - RULLA
“the group not only cemented themselves as one of the most monumental names on the bill for the evening, but set themselves aside as a pair of artists that you not only should, but undoubtedly need, to pay attention to as their career continues to rise.” - Rolling Stone Back by an all First Nations band, they’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. Treaty Day Out, the biggest, blakest event on Victoria’s music calendar, is returning and this time it’ll be rocking Bendigo.
A first class, all-First Nations line-up is set to light up Dja Dja Wurrung Country in October, with Briggs, Dan Sultan, No Fixed Address, Marlon x Rulla, Kee’ahn, and more, sharing the stage for a celebration of our Treaty journey and the oldest surviving culture in the world. Kicking off on Saturday 1 October at the Bendigo Showgrounds, the festival will play host to food trucks, First Nations market stalls, a smoking ceremony and traditional and cultural activities for the whole family. Treaty Day Out is hosted by the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria (the Assembly), the elected voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Victorian Treaty process. Tickets to the festival are free for First Nations people who are enrolled with the Assembly, and are available to purchase for friends and allies.
Any Traditional Owner of Country in Victoria, who is 16 years and older is eligible to enrol, along with any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person from interstate, as long as they have lived in Victoria for at least three of the past five years. Enrollees can vote in Assembly elections, to pick the members who will represent their interests on the journey to Treaty. Amy Rust, proud Kokatha woman and Head of Engagement and Communications at the Assembly said she wants Victorians to share in First Nations culture. “Treaty Day Out is a way for us to share our culture and to invite all Victorians on the Treaty journey with us.” “The work we’re doing is monumental, but this is an opportunity to come together, reflect on how far we’ve come and to have fun with mob. Our culture, our music, is deadly and we want to share that and to celebrate it all.”
Tickets to Treaty Day Out are on sale from Friday 12 August at treatydayout.com The full line-up includes: Briggs, Dan Sultan, No Fixed Address, Marlon x Rulla, Kee’ahn, Scott Darlow, Nooky, Madi Colville-Walker, Bumpy and MC Kevin Kropinyeri. For more information about enrolling with the Assembly head to firstpeoplesvic.org/enrol or contact firstname.lastname@example.org