Hamala (Let Him Fly) is the first single from ABAN, the upcoming album by The Garifuna Collective, due out on September 15, 2019.
"Hamala is a song that came to me in a dream. It sings to the Garifuna youth to embrace the freedom that their ancestors fought so hard to keep," says songwriter Emilio Thomas.
"Hamala is the story about a little boy who wants to fly. He wants to go out in the world and experience it, learn from it. But in order for him to accomplish this, he needs his community to embrace him, prepare him for what lies ahead. He knows that the rich culture of his people has the elements he needs to grow his wings and fly."
THE GARIFUNA COLLECTIVE
ABAN is the upcoming album from Belize's GARIFUNA COLLECTIVE, their first release since their critically-acclaimed tribute to Andy Palacio in 2014 (Ayó, 2014 Stonetree/Cumbancha). It will be released on September 15, 2019.
ABAN's title translates as "ONE" from the Garifuna language, and reflects the spirit of unity and self-sufficiency that has kept this Afro-Indigenous people, language and culture alive and fighting in the Caribbean and Central America for over 300 years.
Members of the Garifuna Collective have been making music together for more than 20 years and this album reflects the deep bond between them. In recent years, the band has been experimenting with new Garifuna rhythms, recording concepts, and even some "organic electronic" music and dub techniques. ABAN breaks loose to redefine Garifuna music for a new generation, while maintaining strong roots to traditional concepts and identity
ABAN brings different traditional rhythms to the forefront - such as Wanaragua and the semi-sacred Hüngühüngün - and creatively juxtaposes them with new melodies from the deep well of Garifuna song. The results are fresh and adventurous; proof that the Garifuna Collective is still at the vanguard of the long journey to bring the Garifuna's soulful and vibrant music to the world.
““The meeting point where ancient meets modern, where acoustic slips effortlessly into and out of electric, this music stretches forward, defying the listener to pin it down. And yet far from being disturbing, it is endlessly satisfying and soothing. Whatever people mean about music being universal, surely that is the perfect demonstration of their argument.” ”
— The Observer (UK)
“This troupe of extraordinary singers has fashioned a unique and wonderful world; once you enter, you will never want to leave.”
— Charlie Gillett, The Guardian (UK)