B2M (Bathurst to Melville) are a seven-piece RnB Indigenous band hailing from the Northern Territory’s Tiwi Islands, 80 kilometres north of Darwin where the Arafura Sea meets the Timor Sea. Formed in late December 2004, B2M are strong Tiwi men who write, sing and perform inclusive, captivating music about a multitude of issues faces by both communities and individuals.
The band’s debut album, Home, is unique and infectious, filled with beats, chants and harmonies that showcase the band’s ability to carry a positive image of their people and culture through RnB with a Tiwi twist! Holding role model status in their community and becoming ambassadors in a broader Australian and international landscape, B2M have performed extensively throughout WA and the NT, China, East Timor and now, Taiwan!
B2M are set to embark on their first tour to Taiwan to perform at Pulima Festival, an Indigenous festival in Kaohsiung City before visiting a number of key Taiwanese Indigenous communities and finishing with a performance at Art Taipei. The band will also play alongside other award-winning musicians at Music Salon and be interviewed by Taiwan Indigenous TV, as well as deliver workshops and school/university visits.
Damien is a Yalama man from Goulburn Island; off the coast of West Arnhem Land. He grew up mainly in Warruwi (Goulburn Island) but also spent 6 years in Gunbalanya, West Arnhem Land. The newest member of the band and a self-taught musician, Damien is also the younger brother of B2M’s drummer Darren Narul.
Damien has played at numerous community festivals and is now embarking on national and international performances as a proud member of B2M.
Like Damien, Darren is a Yalama man from Goulburn Island; off the coast of West Arnhem Land. He grew up mainly in Warruwi (Goulburn Island) but also spent 6 years in Gunbalanya, West Arnhem Land. Darren’s earliest memories of music are of sitting with his father and uncles at ceremonies. As with many kids in Arnhem Land, didjeridoo was the first instrument he learnt to play. From there, he taught himself the drums by sitting and banging on anything he could find. It wasn’t until he went to boarding school that he began to learn guitar.
Darren is also a proud keeper of the Nginji song and ceremony. As tradition would suggest, it was passed down to him by his father.
Fabian was born in Darwin and grew up on Nguiu, Bathurst Island (one of the Tiwi Islands off the coast of Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory). Growing up, he would attentively watch his uncle’s band playing at the Nguiu Social Club. This inspired him to take music lessons when he started high school. Later, it would be bands such as Yothu Yindi and Warumpi Band taking their music to a mainstream audience that would inspire him to take music even more seriously.
Fabian continues his work in the community as a Community Officer for Territory Alliance and he is ready to do what it takes to take his music to the world. He sees the success of Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu as a beacon that has brought the world’s attention to what Indigenous musicians in Australia have to offer.
Greg grew up in Paru on Melville Island (one of the Tiwi Islands off the coast of Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory) where he spent his younger years chasing horses with his grandfather. Greg’s grandfather taught him a lot about life and respect for the land, himself, and the people around him. It was his grandfather who also told Greg to go to school to get some ‘white man knowledge’ and learn about their culture. This advice has already had a great influence on Greg’s direction.
Greg counts B2M opening for Gurrumul at the Darwin Entertainment Centre and the band winning Emerging Act Of The Year at the NT Indigenous Music Awards as his career highlights so far.
Jeffrey (Yellow) Simon
Jeffrey Thomas Simon was born in the community of Nguiu, Bathurst Island (one of the Tiwi Islands off the coast of Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory). He spent most of his childhood in Milikapiti on Melville Island, other than a four year period with his family in Melbourne.
In 2005, Jeffrey completed a Certificate II in Contemporary Music alongside his other B2M band mates. It was through this that the band began to realise the many different pathways their musical careers could take them.
Shelton Murray is the son of Lazarus Murray renowned didgeridoo player from the legendary band Blekbala Mujik. Lazarus was taught to play didgeridoo by the master practitioner David Blanasi. Lazarus in turn taught his son Shelton to play the didgeridoo in the traditional style of the Bulman, Barunga, Beswick region of southwest Arnhemland.
Shelton’s inspirations to write & perform come from his father Lazarus Murray & his grandfather Peter Apaak Jupurrula Miller. Shelton takes great inspiration from a wide variety of performers from Michael Jackson to Gurrumul Yunupingu and of course, B2M. In 2016 Shelton was chosen to play the Didjeridoo for the Australian Chamber Orchestra. They toured parts of the USA such as New York & Los Angeles.
Watch a video of B2M’s song, Parlangarri