If it’s just blood and guts, I think I’ll quit

Image via MySpace: Ngaiire

Ngaiire is a Sydney musician who was born in Papua New Guinea. Described as a having beautiful harmonies, great songs, sass, sincerity and soul to spare, Ngairre is one island sister who is going places.

“I feel like I’ve been pregnant for years and at any point I’m just gonna explode all over everyone. Amongst the blood and guts there must be a musical masterpiece or something I won’t be ashamed to call my child. If it’s just blood and guts, I think I’ll quit” – Ngaiire

Preparing to go into the studio to record her debut album, Ngaiire has never been one to reside within the confines of a musical box constantly bleeding out the corners, owing to having such a diverse upbringing. Ngaiire came to Australia at just 16 having spent a lot of her life living in the jungles of Papua New Guinea in a little grass hut with no electricity, television or internet but a single hand held radio that serviced the village with what she felt was a “mind-bashing of uninspiring top 40 hits”. Starting a new life in the little NSW town of Lismore meant a significant change of lifestyle for Ngaiire. In amidst trying to sync herself up with the ways of her new society she sparked an extensive love affair with Sarah Vaughn and Jeff Buckley who are instrumental in shaping her vocal style today.

At 18 she began a Jazz degree at the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music in Mackay. With only half way through her degree she felt Mackay was becoming a creative barrage for her prompting her to move to Sydney. There she could immerse herself in a place she knew would terrify her to the point of becoming better at her art. Within a year Rolling Stone had recognised her as a rising star to look out for even without having released anything as a solo artist. Her growing reputation attracted bands from jazz great Roy Ayers, Paul Mac, Sarah Blasko, ARIA award winning Monsieur Camembert, and Blue King Brown to sought after her voice, touring nationally and internationally with many of them. With a voice that some have described as powerful ‘mourning’ she performs with such an intense presence it’s hard not to be drawn into the world she creates on stage.

2010 will see what is set to be Ngaiire’s first long awaited offering to the world. A body of work she describes as ‘some bastardised form of alternative’. Certainly something worth getting wound up about.

“This is an exciting development for Australian Music” – The Brag

“She’s so good I’d go so far as to say it was brave of even Ruthie to take her on” – Australian Stage (on her supporting Texan blues singer Ruthie Foster)

“When I first heard Ngaiire it was one of those moments when you just go, that has all the right bits in all the right places. It was like a soulful massage for my eardrums. Beautiful harmonies, great songs, sass, sincerity and soul to spare”- John Butler.

Source: TripeJ Unearthed

Glorious / Ngaiire

Edited: 2 June, 2010

Talanoa: John Pule on Radio NZ

John Pule, Another Green World, 2006. Private Collection

Image via City Gallery Wellington

Click play button

Poet, novelist and painter John Pule,”possibly the most important living contemporary Pacific artist” talanoa’s with Radio New Zealand on his current   book and exhibition Hauaga (Arrivals) at Wellington’s City Gallery, documenting his paintings, and how words and images go hand in hand for him. (duration: 11′42″)

John Pule in his studio. Photo Gil Hanly.

Image via Radio New Zealand

Source: Radio New Zealand via Twitter:CityGalleryWgtn

Tapa Wall Feature

In 2008 I painted two feature walls for my former sister-in-law. She had these cushions (a gift from Fiji) and was inspired to have the same tapa designs on her wall.

I consulted two books, Pacific Tapa and Traditional Tapa Textiles of the Pacific, both of which were a great resource for drawing up my design plans.

Tapa Wall

First I tapped an outline of my design. I recommend using Scotch-Blue Painters Tape, as the paint does not bleed through compared to other tapes. Then I drew my motifs on the tape.

Tapa Wall

Tapa Wall

I used a craft knife to cut out the the areas that were to be painted.

Tapa Wall

As you can see the motifs were very detailed.

Tapa Wall

Once all the drawing and cutting were done, the walls were painted. Acrylic house paint was used as it’s easier to clean up and correct mistakes. The tape was removed once the paint dried and I had to do a little bit of touch up with a fine paint brush.

It took a couple of weekends to complete but it was worth it!

Alby Nitro

via Fiji Times

Felix Chaudhary

Sunday, May 30, 2010

MEET the producer of Jasmine Yee Joy‘s up-coming album -Albert Eastgate a.k.a. Alby Nitro. Though modestly quick to downplay his role in Jasmine’s project, a quick listen to his music on Reverbnation reveals a maverick music producer in-the-making.

Jasmine is currently in Los Angeles and due back in Fiji soon to begin work on the project. In the mean-time, Albert has begun preliminary work on her album.

“I have known Jasmine for years, we went to school together and I’m super proud to see her music career starting to take shape. She’s beginning to find herself musically and I’m on track as well- so I guess our coming together is a result of great timing. I think she has an amazing voice and if all goes well, we will possibly be releasing on iTunes,” he said.

Jasmine has informed Albert that she is going Indie rather than mainstream and that has got his creative juices going into overdrive.

“I like writing. So I’m doing that and also looking at musicians to play on the album and the best place to record at. However, at the end of the day, it’s her project and we’ll be trying to fit things in according to her schedule. I’m just doing it for the love of music,” the 27-year-old said.

Albert’s introduction to mixing began with him tinkering with an old Sony double cassette recorder during his primary school years.

“I used to listen to Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 and record and cut songs on the cassette recorder. This was real basic stuff-pressing record then stop then record and stop, trying to fuse songs together. Later my cousin and I would sit back and listen to our ‘mixes’, back then, we thought we were geniuses,” the Natabua student laughed.

A decade and a half later, his music arsenal includes a custom built computer with enough juice to run Sony Acid Loops Music Studio 7 for editing, Adobe Audition to record audio, Fruity Loops Producer Edition to build beats and Traktor Scratch Pro DJ Software. Although a far cry from the double cassette recorder and light years away in advanced technology, Albert says, “it’s not the technology; it’s what you put in it that counts.”

One of Albert’s most interesting creations is titled Lali Rage (No Flip-Flop Chase Mix) which, he says, was inspired by the music of Black Rose.

“I had always been interested in fusing Pacific sounds with electronic beats and after listening to Black Rose’s Voices of Nature album, I was so inspired that I got stuck into it. I got a bucket and two sticks and began trying to emulate lali-like rhythms. I am definitely not a drummer and have terrible rhythm so it took a while. Once I got an okay sound, I digitized it, added effects and fused it with hip-hop beats and a bit of acid jazz and added a bass line. The result is Lali Rage. You’ve got to hand it to Black Rose though- they are pioneers, they set the platform and it’s up to us to try and better it,” the music creator said.

Before delving in the world of music software and beat production, Albert was the lead singer of Nadi based band- Glass Alley. His musical journey with the band brought the then novice vocalist into contact with some of Fiji’s music greats.

“Jim Ratusila and the Black Rose guys were really helpful when we started out. And there were also people like the late great Tui Ravai, Tom Mawi, the guys from Exodus, Talei Burns and the Domoniko brothers who kind of took me under their wing.”

“Viti Browne and Kurt Petersen from FBCL introduced me to William Hatch – to whom I am very thankful because he let me jam with them after Glass Alley disbanded,” he reminisced.

While studying at South Seas Film and Television School in Auckland New Zealand in 2007 and working with Bill Beddoes and Stevie J. Heatley during Fiji Day celebrations there, Albert heard Fiji’s hip-hop anthem 67Ciwa by Sammy G and Mr Grin and was blown away by the track.

“I knew Dave Lavaki (Mr Grin) during my term with 2day FM and I have always been a big fan of Sammy G – I just knew it was just a matter of time before they’d make it,” he said.

Albert has just recently completed a remix of 67Ciwa, which has a completely new take on the ground-breaking song; those interested can have a listen by googling 67Ciwa Alby Nitro Hip Trip remix.

What’s with the name?

“Alby Nitro was the tag given me by my co-host Tony Spark when I worked as a broadcaster in Manila in the Philippines with 1035 MAX FM in 2008,” Albert said.

Albert ‘Alby Nitro’ Eastgate wears many hats – singer, songwriter, film maker, producer and radio jockey. But deep within, beats the heart of a Fiji music promoter and advocate.

“Fiji has so much talent and I just want to help the music and film scene in any way I can. I hope that local media, government and the country as a whole can appreciate what we have and realize that we have the potential to create a rich, vibrant and financially viable entertainment industry here.”

“Fiji needs to be proud of her own sound and our rich culture needs to reflected in our music and movies. Let Hollywood be Hollywood, we’ve got something to say – let’s do it the Fiji way,” the music man said.

Viti Round Up

The first week has gone by so quickly..although technically it’s been only four days since I started this blog. Here’s a summary of this week’s highlights:

Coming up over the next few days will be highlights of my recent trip to the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMa) in Brisbane. They currently have a display of Pacific jewellery from the Gallery’s Collection and focuses on the diversity of media used by artists to create both lei/salusalu and other forms of body adornment.

Sofia Tekela-Smith | New Zealand b.1970 | Untitled (from

‘Lovely hulahands’ series) 2002 | Mother of pearl and

waxed thread | 44cm (long); breastplate: 13 x 17.8 x 2.5cm

Image via GoMa

GoMa also has on exhibition Unnverved: The New Zealand Project. ‘Unnerved’ explores a particularly rich dark vein that recurs in New Zealand contemporary art and cinema. Psychological or physical unease pervades many works in the exhibition, with humour, parody and poetic subtlety among the strategies used by artists across generations and genres.

Lisa Reihana | Ngāpuhi: Ngāti Hine, Ngāi Tu |

New Zealand b.1964 | Dandy (from Digital Marae 2001–ongoing)

2007 |Digital colour print on crystal flex paper on aluminium

ed. 2/5 | 200 x 120cm | Image via GoMa

Till next time, have a great week!

King Kapisi : Hip-Hop Lives Here

Highlights from the very first Hip-Hop Lives Here Exhibition presented by The Plantation Store. Works and skills were collated to support the release of King Kapisi’ fourth album, Hip-Hop Lives Here (yet to be released). Special guests on the night Chaz Bojorquez, Angry Woebot, DLT, Ned Roy, Che Fu, maitreya, Dam Native (Hypa!) Scalper, Tha Feelstyle, DJ Dusty Grooves, DJ Orawan, Emory Douglas and Chaz Doherty.

In 2009, King Kapisi kicked off a Winter Tour throughout Aotearoa (New Zealand) with a stopover in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Toronto. The  Aotearoa tour consisted of maitreya, Scalper, Tha Feelstyle, DJ Orawan and DJ Dusty Grooves.

Hand in hand was an exhibition – a collection of ill visual artists, submitted pieces interpreting King Kapisi’s music and hip-hop. This collection of artworks will be travelling with him around the world, as well as hooking up with local hip-hop practitioners where-ever they may be.

Suva’s getting sexy in the city

Suva: Sex and The City 2

The Exclusive Film Premiere of Sex and The City 2 presented by Fiji Fashion Week and Damodar Village Cinema.

Date: 2 June, 2010    Time: 6:00 pm

Where: Village 6, Suva, Fiji

Red Carpet Event

Theme – Silver & Gold

$25 each

Cocktail on arrival

Wine and beer offered

After Party at Traps Bar

Tickets are available at Village 6

For more information and tickets call Fiji Fashion Week

Phone:  3576984 Mobile: 7088896 Email: info@fijifashionweek.com.fj