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#PMAS2021: First-time nominee Vallé talks his nominated single, ‘Trip Advisor’

As the Pacific Music Awards 2021 ceremony looms closer, we catch up with some of this year’s nominees. It’s a PMAs first for Papua New Guinea rapper Vallé, who achieved international acclaim with his single ‘Trip Advisor’. The song was featured on Apple Beats 1 Radio show and was highly praised by American radio host, Ebro Darden. Keep a lookout for Vallé’s upcoming EP set to release on November 26.

Ann-Tauilo Motuga | Videographer

Serving up vibrant colour schemes and Melanesian beauty is Papua New Guinean rapper Vallé in his internationally acclaimed single Trip Advisor.

Containing imagery of authentic Papua New Guinean life, Trip Advisor was filmed in the settlements of Port Moresby, Morata 2 and features much of PNG culture.

The music video has earned him a spot as a finalist for Best Pacific Music Video in the Pacific Music Awards 2021. Vallé is also nominated alongside rapper Kings and singer/songwriter Tree.

“[I feel] honoured. They are both amazing,” Vallé says.

Born as Tali Enjalas Jenkinson, Vallé is from the Wabag, Enga province of PNG. At 8-months-old, Vallé came to New Zealand to receive treatment for malaria and rickets.

Starting his musical journey as a child, Vallé’s father and his grandmother played a big part in influencing him to pursue music.

“My father’s mother was hugely involved in raising me, and she always played the piano in the house growing up. Dad also listened to music every spare moment he could, and naturally that influenced me,” he says.

Since the release of his debut single Love Me in 2018, Vallé has been honing his craft, drawing inspiration from his life experiences and sharing his culture.

PNG rapper Vallé still from Trip Advisor
Still from Trip Advisor.

Returning to his homeland in 2019 saw the birth of his PMA award-nominated single Trip Advisor, which was released last year.

“The song is about life in PNG through my lens, my family’s lens,” Vallé says.

“Firstly, it is a celebration of my reconnecting with my family back home and what that meant for me and for them. Secondly, it is an insight into life in the settlements of Port Moresby, Morata 2 — the roughest place in Moresby.”

“The core characters that you see are all family — immediate and then slightly extended family. In the different settings, it’s just whoever’s there at the time,” Vallé says.

“Representing my culture was very important. I did that broadly in the breakdown scene where we do our traditional ‘sing sing’ and dance in our traditional Engan bilas. That section connects all Engans heavily to the piece, whilst the rest is all shot in Morata 2, settlement life.”

If he wins the PMA’s Best Pacific Music Video, Vallé says he’ll look forward to sharing the news with family back in the islands the most.

“It [will mean] so much if we win. I can’t wait to tell Grandma back home in PNG.”

The 2021 Pacific Music Awards will broadcast live here on TP+ at 7pm on Saturday 11 December.

Vallé would like to extend his gratitude to New Zealand on Air and everyone who contributed towards the production cost of Trip Advisor: Andre Kologeto, Struan Finlay, Lily Hibbert-Schooner, Larissa Gray, Andy Barakauskas, Israel cooper, Conor McCrossin, Jared Reason, Gemma Syme, Ricky Boyce, Brandon Pollock, Steve Pocock, John Mooney, Iain Smith, Barbara Makuati-Afitu, Tamatea Wihongi, Donna Dalupan, Marty Jones, Sam Hilston, Tim flower, Keegan Adams and Bek Cooper.

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