FORMER Freo roots musician and environmental activist Steve Manoa will play a show at the Fibonacci Centre December 2.
Inspired by John Butler, the California-born artist who now calls Byron Bay home, fuses 6- and 12-string guitars, didgeridoo, drums, Native American flute and his voice to produce songs with indigenous, reggae and folk root influences.
Manoa is on a national tour promoting his new single My Medicine, before launching a crowd funding campaign and returning to Byron Bay to record his first full-length album early next year.
“I’ve always been engaged in environmental issues,” says Manoa, who studied marine biology in California and environmental education in WA.
In 2014 he spent three months at the anti-fracking Bentley Blockade in NSW, playing alongside Butler, Xavier Rudd and Nahko to keep protestors’ spirits up.
“There were people from all walks of life unified with a common purpose,” Manoa says.
“It changed my life.”
The rising artist has since written The Water Song, a piece honouring the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers and their prayer for healing the world’s waters.
Manoa is hosting a screening a documentary on the Bentley Blockade with Lock the Gate at the Margaret River Cultural Centre on December 1 before heading to Fremantle.
The musician recorded his first EP in Fremantle and returns every six months to visit his dad.
by JERICHO FEATHERSTONE