It’s another night in the eclectic Canberran venue Smith’s Alternative with entertainment to suit a variety of musical taste’s as it often is. Tonight on the drawcard are ‘East Row Rabble’ and ‘Mufassa’.
It’s not hard to fit the name Mufassa (AKA Dale Mallett) to the person it goes with. Not many people here with a long head of dreads and a casual “she’ll be right brother” attitude…His music – acoustic, stripped back and down to Earth like his nature.
The genre a cross between Roots and Reggae with a funky little groove you couldn’t help being immersed in. Songs about life, challenges and overcoming obstacles made up the set and it was a really nice way to begin the evening with other fortunate mellow souls.
Among the originals, the stand out one and only cover performed – a rendition of ‘Treaty’ by Yothu Yindi transposed into Mufassa stylings with great respect to the original.
The audience kept captivated by music and commentary divulging life experiences, songwriting inspirations and personal spiritual connections. Mufassa has a presence that draws you to forget about the surroundings you are in and focus on a stage area in which he sits and delivers his music.
After the set, I had a chance to have a chat with Mufassa on a more personal level…
J: Tell me a little bit about ‘Mufassa’?
D: Mufassa is a new project for me formed out of a bunch of songs I wrote a couple of years ago. I was playing in another band and that band ended up finishing. In the meantime, I started playing some solo gigs, writing more original music and I guess it just naturally took over when the other band finished. It put 100% of my energy into Mufassa so I put a band together and now we play festivals throughout the country and in between on the way to the bigger shows I play solo gigs and still get to spread my music. It’s a new project – more Reggae, roots, coastal reggae based.
J: During the show tonight you spoke about a song you played in Nimbin or that came about from being in Nimbin…tell us a bit about that?
D: Well…. when I was with my old band, we played a festival called ‘Nimbin Mardi Grass’. It was a 4-day festival and down in Nimbin they get a bit wild you know – it was a legalised marijuana festival. You were just in a sea of community people fooling around and so we kind of partied on with some locals. We met a bunch of people and they took us around town and the song actually started as a idea of my weekend there. I just took it where I felt I went…. It’s not specifically about a person or a group or anything. It’s about my time there and how I felt throughout that time. It’s called ‘Down the Road’ because you kind of walk everywhere and if you’re not down the pub, you’re down the road with random people that you think you’ve met before…. but you kind of build friendships.
J: How did you get to be here tonight with East Row Rabble?
D: I’m releasing a song a month under ‘Mufassa and The Pride’ but I’ve been doing music full time for the last year, so I had a big idea of booking a tour down to Melbourne to go and see some family. All my crew down here are from Melbourne, I was born in Queensland…so I’m playing solo and I’ve got band gigs. I live on the road sort of thing, so I was like ah we’ll go touring. I met Ben (Lead Singer East Row Rabble) 7 years ago when he was playing with ‘Beth and Ben’ and he supported our old band. So we met there fleetingly and then 2 years ago I got a phone call to play at his wedding. We had really connected. This time I was like I’m coming to town let’s put on a show and here we are.
J: Your about to become a dad, how do you feel about that?
D: I am! It’s going to be amazing! We are due the 5th of May…it’s very exciting and yeah, it’s going to be a challenge as well because we are very free floating people, we don’t make too many plans and we’ll just have to see what happens – going to be a big change!
J: Another amazing thing is your head of dreads…they’re just amazing…how long have you been growing them?
D: I’ve been growing them for…coming up 8 years and they’re getting very long and starting to get in the way of things but it’s part of the commitment to them because I love having hair, I love feeling like having roots and it just sort of um feels like I’m a bit more connected to myself having them.
J: Your releasing new music …where can we listen to you?
D: Across platforms like Spotify, Soundcloud, Triple J ‘on air’ everything else…I dunno there’s too many yep where everywhere so if you look up ‘Mufassa and The Pride’ is what our music is under. My socials are under Mufassa Music Group.
With Mufassa’s music and solo performance being so ingrained with Reggae’s slow jerky rhythms and spirituality combined with Roots incorporation of socially and politically aware lyrics this young performer is popularising his status and message in a strong way!