You might recall one sizzling, bumper of a track called 'Treaty'. If you don't remember. However, you might not know that particular hit track was a remix. Yep. One intensely popular, musically unique, hipshaking dance track (both nationally and internationally), which not only found it's way into clubs around the world, but helped spread the core original, and critically important message promulgated by Yothu Yindi. And sewn together by one heck of talented Aussie DJ named Mr Gavin Campbell - whom I had the pleasure of chatting to recently.
Launching his entertainment career as an actor, a young Gavin Campbell began scoping business opportunities around downtown Melbourne. Brimming with confidence, savviness, and bucket loads of charm, wasn't long before a new direction took flight for him; rocking the club scene by introducing a go-to for the more alternative, and perhaps not so darn boisterous, partygoer. Hence, arguably, pioneering Melbourne's alternative club scene. Soon after establishing what became 'Swelter Nightclub', Gavin jumped behind the turntable himself and started spinning tracks. Passionate, plus positive-minded about music, people and life in general, Gavin attributes his enduring success (particularly evinced by his renowned production unit 'Filthy Lucre') to a need to interact - "It's all about connecting with people" - one's personality, ultimately outweighing technical knowledge.
Quizzing him on his initial decision to form music label Razor Recordings (hastily acquired by Mushroom Recordings), and soon thereafter conceiving the Treaty remix back in the 90's, Gavin responded, "Basically, I needed for the label to be self-sufficient, so I needed to generate some money within the mushroom organization, that my label was signed to, and I just heard Yothu Yindi one day, and I thought, Oh wow. I just knew that there was so much scope for adding the traditional element of the Yolngu sound...putting that inside electronic music". However, Gavin laments the enduring poignancy of the hit track, and it's protest-based lyrics. Commenting, "It's tragic" before lightening the mood with, "Someone said to me, 'What happens if there's a treaty Gav'?' 'No, this is a song 'about' the treaty' ".
The success of his/Yothu Yindi's recently released ARIA club chart favourite, 'Treaty - Filthy Lucre Remix (25th-anniversary edition)' has spawned an upcoming live show 'Yothu Yindi and The Treaty Project'. Which will deliver both classic and new - all with a funky Filthy Lucre twist. Yothu Yindi and The Treaty Project, now heading to the eagerly anticipated Brisbane Festival; performing at The Tivoli in Fortitude Valley on Sunday 16th September. To catch Gav' and Yothu Yindi's founding members Witiyana Marika, Stu Kellaway and Kevin Malngay Yunupingu, Indigenous singer/songwriters Yirrmal (son of Witiyana), Dhapanbal (daughter of late frontman Dr M. Yunupingu) and Kamahi Djordon King, plus former bandmates Shellie Morris and Ben Hakalitz, head here for further info and tix. This show promises to be phenomenal. Thanks for reading!