Grant Hansen is a Kulin Nation man; Taungurung through and though. Grant’s upbringing shows you how strong the foundations of truth, honour and respect came from. He, developed into a passionate, courageous, and determined man; these attributes he combines with deep respect for his Elders and their teachings. He applies these attributes to all his endeavours and achievements for Community.
Grant and Leila Gurruwiwi (Yolngu, and niece of revered musician and singer, Dr G Yunupingu) were the first Aboriginal people to work on commercial radio in Victoria. Grant went further and entered the world of television creating a multi-award nominated show called, “Marngrook”. This show launched the careers of many you see on television today. Coming out of nowhere and onto the Australian music landscape is a band from Melbourne called “Kool Mist”. Grant Hansen joins me on big brekkie this morning to Talk about his new album and where does the passion come from for the stage and performing.
Kool Mist features seasoned Melbourne music veterans including founder of the band, Grant Hansen, Brad Brown, Rick Evans , Ken Philips, Mick Evans and Ray Quon. Members of the Kool Mist have performed in bands such as Blackfire, The Fabs & The Blue echoes.
Kool Mist music can be best described as authentically Australian sounding Rock music. Some of the tracks have been Produced by Australian Music Legend Ross Wilson. If it’s classic Australian Rock music you like and the sort of tunes you hear once and like instantly and then make you want to get up and dance then Kool Mist is the band for you Grant states “The Marngrook Footy Show had a unique vibe. You never felt embarrassed for anyone on Marngrook. It's a show that epitomises respect. Respect comes naturally to indigenous people".
By his 30s Grant was a vocalist, songwriter and guitarist with the band Blackfire, of which he was a founding member. Blackfire toured with Yothu Yindi across Australia and China. Grant was adopted into the Yolngu clan by Dr Yunupingu, who became another great friend and mentor. One of Australia’s most successful Indigenous acts in the nineties, Blackfire was awarded NAIDOC’s 1998 Artists of the Year and the South Pacific Music Award 1998 for the song, My Island Paradise. Grant was Blackfire’s manager for ten years.
Grant went on to cofound the Kutcha Edwards Band, and later the 50s and 60s rock ‘n’ roll band, Take It Greasy. In 2007 Grant released a solo album, Big City Combo featuring Wilbur Wilde, Ross Wilson, Paul Kelly and the late Paul Hester. Today, Grant’s Big City Combo Band features former members of Ol’ 55, Swanee, The Delltones, Dynamic Hepnotics and Mental as Anything. He has also played with and managed Koori acts including Interaction, Mercury Blues, Deniece Hudson, Bob Wilson, and Vic Simms. Grant has also toured Japan, Taiwan, Canada, and Mexico.
Grant also formed Koori Music Club which became Songlines Aboriginal Music Corporation, the first of its type in Victoria. Songlines has seen many aspiring songwriters, musicians and technicians begin their industry journey, and many achieve legendary status. Grant was Songlines’ Chief Executive Officer for 12 years and is a Life Member. In 2003 Grant created the Indigenous concert Share the Spirit, through Songlines. The concert is held annually in Melbourne on 26 January.
Grant has been a radio presenter on Melbourne’s Indigenous radio station 3 Kool ‘N’ Deadly (3KnD), 3CR Community Radio, SBS Radio and the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN). Grant was founding member and Chair of South Eastern Indigenous Media Association, now First Australians Media Enterprises (FAME).
Grant’s other former roles include Aboriginal Advancement League Director, NITV Deputy Chair, City of Melbourne Indigenous Arts Board Chair, ILBIJERRI Theatre Company Director, Australia Council for the Arts Artistic Selection Committee Member, and Australian Indigenous Communication Association Board Member.
Grant has been Chair of Taungurung Lands & Waters Council for four years. In 2020 he was appointed a Director on the Board of Reclink Australia, which provides sport and art programs to disadvantaged Australians. Grant is the first Indigenous person to join the Board. He is on the National Dreamtime Awards Selection Committee, an annual celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander achievement in sport, arts, academic and community.
Grant is devoted to family and friends; and is a man with a strong voice for community. Elder John Austin, who has known Grant for more than 30 years, describes Grant as a respectful, dedicated man who exemplifies leadership, stands up for issues and is instrumental in building bridges.
Grant knows his Ancestors are always with him. His legacy is unfolding as he continues to create new pathways that empower Aboriginal people to determine their own future. https://www.facebook.com/groups/957488931803427