Melbourne-via-South Sudan's Gordon Koang is getting ready to release his eleventh (yes, ELEVENTH) album soon.
Melbourne-via-South Sudan's Gordon Koang is getting ready to release his eleventh (yes, ELEVENTH) album soon. The artist has been making music for years, and was indeed a popstar in his home of South Sudan prior to having to flee after the 2013 civil war broke out. With over 20 years in the game, Koang continues to create music that is so infectiously joyous, warm and - most importantly - happy, and that's exactly what he's done again with his latest single, 'Tiel e Nei Nywal Ke Ran (We Don’t Have a Problem with Anyone)'. We are so thrilled to be premiering this today on Purple Sneakers.
Released alongside visuals that were filmed in Cranbourne Botanic Gardens, VIC and at Gordon’s home in Frankston, VIC, 'Tiel e Nei Nywal Ke Ran (We Don’t Have a Problem with Anyone)' is quintessential Koang. Full of "love, acceptance, and a desire for all people to join together in harmony," according to a press statement, his message is particularly important in this incredible uncertain year we all find ourselves in, and serves as a reminder to extend kindness to all because life is all the better for it.
The thing I love about Koang's music is how good you feel when you listen to it. Having been lucky enough to catch him live at BIGSOUND last year, the sheer joy and kindness extended by him and his cousin and collaborator Paul Biel is something that has stayed with me since, and its this that has been perfectly captured in his latest release. Koang, who was born blind, plays his thom (a traditional Nuer instrument) while Biel takes care of percussion, and together they distill this energy into a song that is guaranteed to brighten your day.
Working with director Nick McKinlay, 'Tiel e Nei Nywal Ke Ran (We Don’t Have a Problem with Anyone)' is taken from Koang's new album, Unity, due out later this year. Speaking on his new single, Gordon said, "We don’t have a problem with anyone! Music is the friend of everyone in the world. We are doing it with happiness, we love people, we love our audience and we know our audience loves us. We don't have any problem!”
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Unity is not only his eleventh album, but also his first since his arrival in Australia. Speaking about his album, Gordon said in a press statement, “This is my 11th album. These songs are meaningful. If you have a problem, like all crises in the world, these songs can comfort you and you will be calm. If you think differently, they can change your mind. If you think differently, you will understand the meaning of the songs and be happy."
"These are the main words for people to understand. I am a blind person, my mind is talking from peace, love and unity. My mind is talking peace, my mind is talking love, and also peace among all communities. I ask people to love themselves. People come from one mother, one father. I think people in the world can come under one umbrella. That one umbrella is love.”
Nick McKinlay said of the clip, "I had never met Gordon, but was familiar with his colourful live shows and friendly, matter-of-fact demeanour. Joe and I met both Gordon and Paul at their place, an old motel turned apartments in Frankston, where we started to play in the shared garden. Before too long, there were several people watching and clapping as they finished performing. Watching these two play in public, two instruments that not many people had seen before, it was a pretty gleeful watch."
Watch 'Tiel e Nei Nywal Ke Ran (We Don’t Have a Problem with Anyone)' below:
'Tiel e Nei Nywal Ke Ran (We Don’t Have a Problem with Anyone)' is out June 19th via Music in Exile.
Words by Emma Jones
Image by Duncan Wright