Viewport width =
August 5, 2019 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Music & The Pacific

For many of us Pacific people growing up, homegrown music meant “They Don’t Know” by Aaradhna and Savage on blast in the people mover; you and your cousins screaming—“Huh? Yo! That can’t be true! Now you wouldn’t be lyin to my face, now, would you?” 

It was that tune from Once Were Warriors: “What’s the Time Mr Wolf?” amongst Ardijah and Herbs at frequent garage drink-ups with your horc uncle and his wife who wore too much bling. 

It was Nesian Mystik, singing about Taro, Manioke and Lu Sipi while you sat at the beach or park with your family—with only breakfast crackers and WAHOO tuna waiting for you at home. 


As with anything, our taste in music has matures with us. It grows with our experiences, and as artists themselves grow. With a particular focus on our hip hop scene (being predominantly Pasifika) forged by individuals such as internationally recognised David Dallas, Savage, Scribe, and P-Money, alongside collectives like Smashproof—there is no doubt that the current state of New Zealand music is healthy. Although each artist is different, together they hold a united front, demonstrating a unique type of sportsmanship you would find in a champion team. Often found collaborating on each other’s tracks—the likes of Melodownz (Avontale local), Church & AP (NZ’s hottest duo), Diggy Dupé (king of Central Auckland), Lukan Raisey (South Auckland local) and SWIDT (hip hop collective from Onehunga) are just a handful of many paying homage to their upbringing and recording their surroundings, detailing what they see via politically and socially conscious lyrics. Authentic in their storytelling, these artists bring the stories of Pacific people in New Zealand to the forefront of Aotearoa’s identity. Today, our hip hop culture is armed with honest examples of racism, reflective of issues surrounding male masculinity and mental health, the conflict involved in choosing one’s truth versus appeasing the expectations of family and demanding space and recognition. NZ hip hop artists fight stereotypes and systematic division enforced upon Pacific people in general and within the music industry itself. Transparent in their art, on the gram, and in real life, staying true is central to effectively making an impact while accomplishing their goals. 



About the Author ()

Comments are closed.

Recent posts

  1. VUW Halls Hiking Fees By 50–80% Next Year
  2. The Stats on Gender Disparities at VUW
  3. Issue 25 – Legacy
  4. Canta Wins Bid for Editorial Independence
  5. RA Speaks Out About Victoria University Hall Death
  6. VUW Hall Death: What We Know So Far
  8. New Normal
  9. Come In, The Door’s Open.
  10. Love in the Time of Face Tattoos

Editor's Pick

Uncomfortable places: skin.

:   Where are you from?  My list was always ready: England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, puppy dogs’ tails, a little Spanish, maybe German, and—almost as an afterthought—half Samoan. An unwanted fraction.   But you don’t seem like a Samoan. I thought you were [inser

Do you know how to read? Sign up to our Newsletter!

* indicates required