Is­land visit in­spired Bobby’s cruisy vibe

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE ’N’ LOUD -

BOBBY Alu (pic­tured) never imag­ined get­ting in touch with his Samoan roots would pro­voke a sense of ma­tu­rity in his mu­sic. The lo­cal soul-reg­gae mu­si­cian, real name Charles Wall, took a trip to his mother’s is­lander home­town last year, emersed him­self in the cul­ture and came home with a tra­di­tional tat­too. ‘‘The is­lander vibes were re­ally in­spir­ing – it’s amaz­ing how easy-go­ing they are and how slow ev­ery­thing is,’’ Alu says. ‘‘The ex­pe­ri­ence helped progress my sound. It’s still soul but it has hints of pop and up­beat fun tunes.’’ Alu says his tat­too is a re­minder of his time in Samoa. ‘‘They use a blade and dip it in ink, then they ham­mer it in your arm,’’ he says. ‘‘It frig­gin’ hurts. My arm swelled up for a week. It was at the end of the long trip. I had been through a lot my­self. I was born in Aus­tralia, so never spent any time there. It was so good to make that con­nec­tion and have a sym­bol of my time there.’’ Alu re­leased his de­but al­bum in 2010, a time when he felt he was ‘‘still find­ing my sound and feet’’. Alu is halfway through mak­ing his sec­ond al­bum and says this time around, things feel more solid. ‘‘You could say it’s hint­ing new ter­ri­tory,’’ he says. ‘‘The al­bum will be called Take It Slow and I guess we want to let peo­ple know it’s OK to re­lax. I like to have a re­fresh­ing and ca­sual out­look on things with up­beat, happy tunes.’’ Alu’s six-piece band has been in­volved in the creative process for Take It Slow. Alu prom­ises a ‘‘slam­ming’’ show this week­end. ‘‘We are re­ally look­ing for­ward to it,’’ he says. ‘‘There will be some crazy per­cus­sion so­los and heaps of new songs. It should be a fun night.’’

– ROSE SADLEIR

Bobby Alu plays Man­dala Or­ganic Arts at Mer­maid Beach on Satur­day.

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