Dan Sultan

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For the American General, see Daniel Isom Sultan.
Dan Sultan
Dan Sultan @ Sir Stewart Bovell Park (2 1 2011) (5356057159).jpg
Dan Sultan performing at the 2011 Southbound Festival
Background information
Birth name Daniel Leo Sultan
Born 1983[1]
Williamstown, Victoria, Australia
Genres Alternative rock, World Music, Roots
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, electric guitar, six-string guitar
Years active 1996–present
Labels TrueForm Recording
MGM Distribution
Associated acts The Black Arm Band

Dan Sultan (born Daniel Leo Sultan) is an Aboriginal Australian singer and songwriter. Sultan plays what he calls "country soul rock'n'roll".[2] At the ARIA Music Awards of 2014, Sultan won "Best Rock Album" for Blackbird (April 2014).[3]


Sultan was born in 1983[4] and grew up in the inner suburbs of Melbourne. His father was Irish and his mother, Roslyn Sultan, was Aboriginal from the Arrernte and Gurindji people.[5] Sultan's father, a lawyer, worked for the Aboriginal Legal Service and as a result the family also lived in Yuendumu (300 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs) in the Tanami Desert, as well as Cairns in Queensland. He started playing guitar aged four and wrote his first song at ten.[6]

With Scott Wilson he has released an album called Homemade Biscuits with the help of John Butler's Seed program.[5] Sultan won the Single Release of The Year at the 2007 Deadly Awards for his song "Your Love is Like a Song".[7]

His second album, Get Out While You Can, was released in November 2009. It reached No. 1 on the independent Australian charts[8] and was a Triple J feature album.[9]

His band is made up of Wilson (vocals and guitar), Joshua Jones (bass), Peter Marin (drums), Gina Woods (keyboards), Steven Veale (horns) and Ben Veale (horns).[10] Sultan and his band have performed at most major Australian music festivals. Paul Kelly invited Sultan and Wilson to contribute to the Kev Carmody tribute album, Cannot Buy My Soul, as well as the concert of the same name at the Sydney Festival 2008 and Queensland Music Festival 2009.

Other projects[edit]

Sultan is a member of The Black Arm Band, a collection of many of Australia's premier Aboriginal musicians.

Sultan made his screen debut in the 2009 film Bran Nue Dae,[11] together with Geoffrey Rush, Missy Higgins and Jessica Mauboy.[12]


Sultan currently resides in Melbourne, Australia, with his girlfriend, Jade Blair.


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
Homemade Biscuits
Get Out While You Can
  • Released: 6 November 2009
  • Label: Independent, MGM (SUL002)
  • Format: CD, digital download
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Extended plays[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
  • Released: 4 April 2014
  • Label: Liberation (LMCD0238)
  • Format: CD, digital download
Dirty Ground
  • Released: 7 November 2014
  • Label: Liberation (LMCD0266)
  • Format: CD, digital download
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  • "Your Love is Like a Song" (2009)
  • "Old Fitzroy" (8 November 2010)
  • "Under Your Skin" (15 November 2013)[16]
  • "The Same Man" (14 February 2014)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Sultan received the Best Blues and Roots Album, for his album Get Out While You Can, and Best Independent Artist awards at the 2012 Australian Independent Record (AIR) Awards,[17]

On 2 November 2010, Sultan won his first ARIA Music Award for Best Blues and Roots Album, winning over contenders such as Butler and Ash Grunwald. On 7 November 2010, he won the ARIA for Best Male Artist.

On 26 November 2014, he won the ARIA for Best Rock Album at the 28th ARIA Awards ceremony in Sydney, Australia.

APRA Awards[edit]

The APRA Awards are presented annually from 1982 by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), "honouring composers and songwriters".[18]

Year Recipient Award Result
2011 "Letter" (Dan Sultan, Scott Wilson) Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year[19] Nominated



  1. ^ "Dan Sultan". Murundak - Songs of Freedom. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  2. ^ McCabe, Cathy (22 May 2010). "Sultan of zing". Perth Now (The Sunday Times). Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  3. ^ "And the ARIA Award Goes To...". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  4. ^ FasterLouder Dan Sultan, Falls Festival, 01/01/04
  5. ^ a b Gibson, Joel (7 March 2008). "Dan Sultan – the black Elvis?". Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  6. ^ Bible, Georgina (5 May 2010). "Meet the Sultan of blues". The Northern Star (APN News & Media). Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  7. ^ Living Black Profile on Dan Sultan
  8. ^ Spillett, Emma (6 May 2010). "Savouring success". Illawarra Mercury (Fairfax Media). 
  9. ^ Heath, Matthew (4 March 2010). "Bran nue Sultan of swing". The Canberra Times (Fairfax Media). 
  10. ^ The Newcastle Herald, 24 January 2008, "He is the Sultan of sing" by Stephanie Bradley
  11. ^ Sunshine Coast Daily, 1 May 2010, "Sultan's on a career high"
  12. ^ Kelton, Sam (20 May 2010). "Dan Sultan waiting for his big break". Adelaide Now (The Advertiser). Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  13. ^ Peak positions for studio albums in Australia:
  14. ^ Peak positions for extended plays in Australia:
  15. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2015 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 6 March 2015. 
  16. ^ Dan Sultan – Under Your Skin – YouTube
  17. ^ http://ausindies.com.au/awards.html, Australian Independent Record Labels Association Ltd (AIR) 2012
  18. ^ "APRA History". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) | Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). Retrieved 17 January 2011. 
  19. ^ "Nominations > Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year – 2011". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) | Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 

External links[edit]