Kamahl is an honourary member of Clan Analogue, having contributed vocals to Valley Forge’s single Wayfaring Stranger from the Artificial Heart album. If you haven’t heard of this legendary Australian performer, here is an excerpt from his official biography:
Kamahl is the name which, for over four decades, has identified the music and unique voice of a man who is one of the most sensational recording stars in Australian history. This is his inspiring and heart-warming story.
When he arrived in Adelaide from Malaysia as a Tamil Hindu schoolboy in 1953, after a tormented childhood under Japanese occupation, he was a black in an alien white country. A lone teenager speaking poor English, totally unfamiliar with Western music and his only skills were those on the sports fields.
Shyly, he learned to sing, from pop to the classics, inspired by other great black artists such as Nat King Cole, Paul Robeson and William Warfield, all of whom he met. He survived by agility and luck, outwitting the Immigration Department and the “White Australia Policy”, which wanted him deported. Kamahl was protected mainly with the loyalty of his mentor and friend, Rupert Murdoch.
He always swam against the tide, acquiring along the way a reputation for toughness and arrogance which was a shield against the feelings of racial inferiority which have haunted him throughout his life. He cheerfully took career gambles as few others have done, audaciously hiring the London Palladium to star himself, twice playing Carnegie Hall in New York, and arriving as an unknown in Europe with a hit about an elephant that made him a star there.
The story of his life, which took him from a child in the cow paddocks of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to being a performer able to count among his friends some of the great and mighty, is one of the most extraordinary adventures in show business… from being bombed in Malaysia to a sometimes turbulent, but enduring marriage in Australia, to making and losing a fortune, and making it again. His philanthropy along the way is legend, and for it he was made a Member of the Order of Australia.
But, above all, Kamahl is still entertaining … and still packing them in.
Releases on Clan Analogue Recordings:
CA040W: Wayfaring Stranger EP
CA039V: Follow Suit EP