Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television

since 1987

New artist TheWesternGuide gives Samoan classic ‘Pe Moni Ea’ a modern twist

TheWesternGuide gives Samoan classic a modern spin
Up-and-coming Samoan artist TheWesternGuide aka Aaron Pulemagafa  PHOTO // TWG Instagram

By Alice Lolohea

Nostalgic listening is at an all-time high thanks to the Covid pandemic, with many people around the world finding comfort in music from the past. For up-and-coming artist TheWesternGuide (TWG), it’s an opportune time to release his modern take on the Samoan classic Pe Moni Ea.

With its blend of Poly Reggae feels, easy-listening harmonies topped with leisurely vocals, TWG’s reimagining of Pe Moni Ea embraces its roots in love and romance and is “guaranteed to take you down memory lane”.

Its video accompaniment is deeply entrenched in nostalgia as well, a signature of its director and editor Naik2G aka Bryson Naik – visual artist to Aotearoa’s hip hop stars. Technicolour visuals awash with retro graphics, Pacific shores and classic ’80s overlays, the “fauxback” style reminded me strongly of the music videos I used to watch in the islands; singers strolling down empty beaches, posing awkwardly in the sand and singing their hearts out to the sea.

In a way, Pe Moni Ea‘s visual story is a beautiful homage to these kinds of videos, with amusing modern nods to today’s internet jokes (spot the ‘‘Are You Sure?‘ Yu-Gi-Oh card).

Wielding the power of social media to further his musical cause, TWG has established himself as an online personality with humorous videos and a few music singles sprinkled in between. His debut single WAIT4YOU reached No.7 on the NZ Hot Singles Chart, and also featured on the Pacific-Australian drama series Parramatta.

TWG now joins a growing list of P.I. artists popularising Pasifika classics for younger audiences and creating a gateway to learning their mother tongues. While Pe Moni Ea marks a linguistic shift in TWG’s current trajectory, it’s a strong indicitation of his potential as a multi-lingual artist.

Watch the music video for Pe Moni Ea below:

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