We’re farewelling the 2019 Festival with the exhilarating sounds of Sorong Samarai.
This latest project from PNG/Australian musician Airileke brings together rising stars of Papua New Guinea and West Papua’s underground urban music scene including Sprigga Mek, Ukam Maniczy, Mogu, Twin Tribe, Jagarizza and more. Heavy beats and fierce log drumming of the Manus Islands combine to create a fresh sound unique to this part of the globe.
Razor-sharp lyrics from multilingual MCs Sprigga Mek (PNG) and Ukam Maniczy (Indonesia) provide insight into the ghetto life of Port Moresby and the aspirations of freedom for West Papua. Bass man Richard Mogu, from the highlands of PNG, and master percussionist Airileke combine to bring to life ancient Melanesian rhythms. Haunting flutes that depict the Birds of Paradise, chants and soundscapes transport you deep into the jungle.
Dance duo The Roem Brothers, hailing from the highlands of West Papua, came to Australia as refugees before they were teenagers and have since developed one of the freshest forms of Pacific Island dance you’ll see on stage.
Sorong is the name of a town on the northwest tip of West Papua. Samarai is a town on the southeast tip of Papua New Guinea. As Sorong Samarai this energetic band represents the unification of these two regions that were once divided and isolated from each other.
Their first single ‘Sorong Samarai’ took the Pacific region by storm in 2016 breaking through the silence in the mainstream media on the issue of West Papua. This is music of resistance from one of the newest and harshest urban environments on the planet, right here on Australia’s doorstep.
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- Photo Scott Walsh
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