Ronny Kareni is a Canberra-based West Papuan musician and activist. He graduated in diplomacy studies at the Australian National University. He is also the co-founder of Rize of the Morning Star, a musical and cultural movement, and consults the Pacific Mission of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua. Sorong Samarai is like nothing you have ever heard or seen before… heavy log drumbeats, hip-hop, contemporary dance and hauntingly beautiful sound scapes direct from West Papua & PNG.
PNG/Oz Producer Airileke’s latest project Sorong Samarai brings together rising stars of PNG and West Papua’ s underground urban music scene. Each featured artist in the collective are established artists in their own right, between them claiming many hits and clubs bangers throughout the Pacific over the past 2 decades. Razor sharp lyrics from multilingual MCs Sprigga Mek (PNG) and Ukam Maniczy (West Papua) bring an insight into the ghetto life of Port Moresby, and the aspirations of freedom for West Papua. Bass man Richard Mogu and Airileke combine to create one of the most unique rhythm sections bringing ancient Melanesian rhythms to life. Hauntingly beautiful Kwakumba (flutes) from the highlands of PNG depicting the Birds of Paradise, chants and immersive sound will take you deep into the jungles of PNG. Complimented by the infectiously positive island reggae tunes by Jagarizza and Twin Tribe.
One of the most spectacular moments in a Sorong Samarai concert is the dance. Dance duo the Roem Brothers hailing from the highlands of West Papua came to Australia as child refugees, 10 years later they have become one of the most unique and exciting dancers to watch. In Sorong Samarai they combine with legendary contemporary Torres Strait dancer Albert David, along side the pioneer of contemporary PNG dance and theatre Markham Galut. Sorong is the name of a town on the northwest tip of West Papua, Samarai is a town on the southeast tip of PNG. The band represent the unification of the 2 politically divided regions, which have been isolated from each other for over 50 years. Papua is the most culturally diverse place on earth with over 1000 distinct languages, and the 3rd largest tract of rainforest on earth.