Radical Son

Onya Soapbox

Radical Son

Radical Son is one of the mightiest voices and most compelling performers currently rising on the Australian concert, festival and dramatic stage. A Kamileroi man with Tongan heritage, his work draws immense power and resolve from a challenging past and a style that melds the urgency of hip-hop and the emotional punch of soul, as heard on two albums to date: Cause N’Affect (2014) and his stunning forthcoming album Bilambiyal (The Learning) (out on 11th July 2024). [pronounced bil-lamb-be-yewl]

Last year his cover of his mentor Archie Roach’s Walking Into Doors brought festival audiences to their feet at Port Fairy, Parrtjima and Horizon – Dawn Awakening festivals and also with the MSO at Hamer Hall.

In 2024 Radical Son has graced the stages at National Folk Festival, Canberra, Coastal Fusion, NSW, performed at Melbourne’s Memo Hall and Womadelaide as part of Wantok’s Sing Sing. Last February he performed with the WO at the opera’s premiere of Wundig wer WIlura for Perth Festival. Radical Son is no stranger to remote communities and played both Desert Harmony Festival and Yidiyi in the NT. This July,Radical Son will perform the new album, Bilambiyal in full as a 5-piece band for QPAC’s Clancestry Festival. Radical Son has also received ovations at Bluesfest, St Kilda Festival, VIVID, the AFL Dreamtime 2023 game, and the official Archie Roach memorial in Melbourne in 2022.

Radical Son is a concert artist, equally at home with classical ensembles and such highly regarded collaborators as David Bridie, Emma Donovan, Frank Yamma, Lady Lash, Mau Power and Deline Briscoe. In 2013, he was selected as a core chorister and featured artist in Archie Roach’s critically acclaimed Into the Bloodstream national tour.

Radical Son’s transformational life journey has led him to a unique place on Australia’s cultural landscape, a captivating soul voice and commanding presence leading us to a new level of contemplation through his hard-won personal insights. He will not leave you unmoved.

PERFORMANCES

National Folk Festival, Canberra
QPAC – Clancestry Festival 2024
WOMADelaide as part of Wantok’s Sing Sing
Port Fairy Folk Festival, VIC
Coastal Fusion, NSW
West Australian Opera – Wundig wer WIlura for Perth Festival
Archie Roach Tribute concert with MSO at Hamer Hall
Parrtjima Festival, NT
Horizon Festival’s – Dawn Awakening, QLD
Desert Harmony Festival, NT
Yidiyi, NT
St Kilda Festival, VIC
Vivid Sydney NSW
Bluesfest, Byron Bay
AFL Dreamtime Game
Archie Roach Memorial Concert
Woodford Folk Festival, QLD
Dreaming Festival, NSW
Pasifika Festival, NZ
Australian Worldwide Music Expo

REVIEWS / TESTIMONIALS

“‘Elder’ shakes you to your core – Radical Son’s vocals are their own gravitational force, intense, heavy, pulling you in to the story. The track, boosted by deep piano, pulsing bass and synths, and steady, strong hip hop beat, merges sounds of the old and new, lifting in every section, culminating in a joyful, emotional climax, switching tongues, but delivering a message of unity and celebration. ‘Elder’ is more than just a stirring track, with amazing delivery – it’s an experience, that after a listen you need to sit back in silence and take in what has just transpired.” THE POINT 

“The theme for this NAIDOC week is For Our Elders and this new track by Radical Son, Elder, is pretty much the perfect anthem for this year. David Leha, the man behind Radical Son, sings about the struggle of hard-won survival, a sense of belonging and acquiring wisdom from one’s life experience.” FRANKIE MAGAZINE

“Don’t you just love those songs that stop you in your tracks? That make you forget about everything except for the music you’re listening to? Those songs are so rare, but “Elder,” the new single from Radical Son, aka David Leha, is one of them. It delivers a powerful and deeply personal statement of David’s devotion to country and his Kamilaroi and Tongan heritage. Honestly, I’ve got goosebumps.” SOUNDS OF OZ