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Airlie Beach-based band Sun Salute create their debut album

Multicultural band inspires audiences by combining the power of music with a provocative message 



The creation of Time Has Come, the debut album for seven-piece band Sun Salute spanned the album’s recording, engineering and commercial release over a 12-month timeframe in 2018.

Sun Salute, who aim to use the power of music for healing and change, fuses a multicultural mix of reggae, roots, hip-hop and funk, and incorporates Aboriginal and Maori messages in its music.

Prior to recording the debut album, the members of Sun Salute (Hayden Weke, Jarrah Kurth, Dylan Hammond, Chris Booroff, Saia Latu, Nestor Galapai and Rueben Legge) had performed together for years, developing their live shows and broadening their audience base through touring and festival performances. 

Sun Salute set out to record, create and promote an authentic and original album to:

  • increase the band’s profile
  • build on the band’s solid audience base
  • broaden the band’s market reach
  • use their experience to help colleagues and other regional band members maintain a sustainable career in the industry
  • contribute to a vibrant Queensland contemporary music sector.

Sun Salute’s debut album Time Has Come was released on 15 November 2019. Three singles were released gaining airplay on community radio around Australia with rotation on JJJ 'roots n all' show. 

The band’s first single 'No More' ranked in at number 28 on 4ZZZ's (Brisbane) hottest 100 of 2019 and their third single 'Dancehall Riddim' ranked number 5 on AMR (Australian Musicians Radio, Melbourne) for their top 50 songs of 2019.

In December 2019 Sun Salute was voted by the people via East Coast Reggae Community Facebook Group as Number 1 Australian Reggae band of 2019.

Sun Salute’s success with the album can encourage other like-minded regional musicians to create and release new work and can help band members to mentor and support others in the industry.

When and where

From April 2018 to April 2019


Key stats (to September 2020)

  • Supported seven musicians and three arts workers
  • Created eleven new songs


Arts Queensland investment 

$32,314 through the Queensland Arts Showcase Program (QASP) in 2018. QASP provides funding to support the delivery of vibrant and accessible arts and cultural experiences for Queensland. 




  • Capacity building for regional artists
  • Increased profile for local artists within and beyond Central Qld
  • New collaboration between artists
  • Support for creative practice 
  • Production of new work for artists
  • Skills development
  • Economic benefits: employment of artists 
  • Increase national profile of Queensland contemporary music

Learnings and reflections

The recording / mixing / mastering process went very well. . It was a fun process and we all had an input into the recording and mixing stages. We came out with a great product and were able to budget correctly and get quality results. 

Next time we would put more thought into the promotion, social media, photos, graphic design and multimedia side of releasing the album. It's easy to forget about the finer details and get delayed in the release with not having the finer details worked out in advance. 

We would also plan ahead and be more organised in timeframes to not have the project drag out. We had to make variations to the release timeline due to two main reasons. 

  1. Artwork, videos and finer details of the tour planning were not ready in time for original release dates. 
  2. We were restricted with availability of our seven members to be on tour. Having to work around peoples’ lives and availability to tour was challenging; hence the push back of release and touring dates.

The main challenge was sticking to our release timeline. We have learnt well from these things for future releases and tours and will plan accordingly.


"Time Has Come has to be our favourite roots/reggae album of 2019. Sun Salute have come into their own with this release, heading into darker reggae, then shooting us straight into the feel good grooves. What a trip!" Rhys Fox, The Point 

"Gorgeous melodies, strong arrangement - Sun Salute wear their influences on their sleeve and conjure up music you can't turn away from." Sose Fuamoli, The AU Review/Play On Music 

"Wow, How can you NOT get into this? Vibing on Sun Salute will seriously hit you in the face! If this is the future of reggae, then Sun Salute leaves us in good hands!" Tracey Arbon, Music Talks 

"Reggae isn't usually my thing but these guys have changed that! I'd love to see these guys live. A sturdy and assured groove that perfectly backs up their pertinent socially conscious voice." Evan Read, 

"Sun Salute have merged reggae with a powerful message to create a sound that is unique and inspiring. The reggae vibe flows nicely along whilst the lyrics are thought provoking and emotive. An exceptional sound full of flavour." Amanda Starkey, 27 Mag 

"In a world of chaos we welcome uplifting bands like Sun Salute with open arms." Tracey Moyle, Good Call Live 

"Sun Salute are a bright hope in dark times, which the world needs now more than ever." Vandala Magazine 

"You better get used to seeing these guys popping up all over the place." Eden Campbell, Scenestr 

"Sun Salute has been developing a solid reputation as not only a amazingly fun live act but also a force of message and connection. Their energy on stage is infectious with their blend of classic reggae rhythms, dubs, solid grooves and jams." 

The Rhythm Hut "This is definitely a balmy Summer evening record, and a beauty at that. A joyful and fresh record." Chris Michaels, Forte Magazine


Tips for others

Don't spend all your money on getting amazing recordings done and leave nothing to use in the PR, promotion, graphic design, social media and radio plugging. 

Find a balance in budgeting to allow enough to promote the works in this highly competitive world of music business. 

Don't be scared to be different and stand out in the way you promote yourself and promote the release.


What next?

We have been commended on our release by Byron Bay Bluesfest director Peter Noble and are to be on the Bluesfest lineup for 2021.


For more information

Sun Salute Music

Image on case study menu: Performing at Timberfest Mackay, September 2017. Image courtesy Sun Salute 

Case study banner image: Section of Image the band in their home town of Airlie Beach. Image: Summer Rain