Statement from Decca Australia and Universal Music Australia
Decca Australia and Universal Music Australia are enormously proud and privileged to announce the signing of one of Australia’s most important and culturally defining recording artists of all time: the late Dr. Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu (1971–2017), known universally as ‘Gurrumul’.
In partnership with Skinnyfish Music and its long-time Managing Director Mark Grose and Creative Director Michael Hohnen – who have managed Gurrumul’s career since 2008 – the signing to the legendary Decca label comes on the eve of what would have been Gurrumul’s 50th birthday (22nd January 2021).
Since releasing his eponymous debut album in 2008 (which subsequently won two ARIA awards for Independent Album and World Music Album), Gurrumul’s truly unique music has resonated with listeners in Australia and around the world. His angelic voice connected with notable fellow musicians Elton John, Quincy Jones, and Sting, and he performed for heads of state HRH The Queen of England and former US President Barack Obama.
Creative Director of Skinnyfish Music, Michael Hohnen, says: “Mark and I at Skinnyfish Music are extremely proud of our close and personal relationship with this incredible artist and his community and what we have been able to achieve over the past 21 years. We now look forward to working with a major international partner and help bring this story and body of work to a much broader audience.”
President of Universal Music Australia and New Zealand, George Ash, says: “At Universal Music Australia, we are very proud of our diverse roster of Australian artists, one which embraces a variety of musical genres and cultures, values tradition and looks to the future. The arrival of Gurrumul to the fold is a deep and genuine privilege for all of us at UMA, and we are excited to nurture his legacy and share it with the world. I also know that without the support and guidance from Gurrumul’s extended family of Yolngu people, and that of Michael and Mark at Skinnyfish, he would not have been able to achieve such a prolific body of cultural and artistic work. We look forward to taking this to a much broader audience and helping develop the unfinished body of work that already exists.”
SVP of Global Classics and Jazz for Universal Music Group, Mark Wilkinson, says: “We are excited at the opportunity to work with the extraordinary musical and cultural legacy of this very special artist. Gurrumul’s music has a rare power and strength, and we look forward to taking his unique story and message to audiences around the world.”
Forthcoming releases from Gurrumul on Decca Australia include limited editions of coloured vinyl, a box set of his complete recordings, collaborations with vocal, electronic and instrumental artists, an orchestral album and more.