Solomon Islands is richly blessed with many of the top music artists in the Pacific region with the popular island music style from the ‘Happy isles’ hitting many different musical charts both internationally and locally in 2022.
One young man is rising in the ranks of the local music scene. Locally one can’t talk about today’s music without referencing rising teenage sensation Junior Stavrros Malana, commonly known to many music lovers in the country as Ghemu. The first year SINU Marine student quickly made a name for himself in the local music scene with a couple of his songs trending on different social media platforms including the popular tiktok.
“Growing up as a child without a father was tough especially during when I was approaching my teenage years but luckily I was raised by my hardworking mother and grand-parents who made me the man I am today and I’m forevermore grateful for them”, said the 18-year-old.
Ghemu exclusively told SBM that even though he faced really difficult times growing up, music was and will always be there to comfort him.
“During my days in primary school I used to sing aloud in the classroom especially my favourite song from DMP [No Solou] until the teachers would come and stop me. That is how much I love to sing”, he recalled.
It was in February 2021 that the doors of musical opportunities opened for the lad from Marovo, Western Province when he met one of the most successful music producers in the country, Baka Solomon for the first time when recording one of his first songs, ‘FAKE LOVE’ with long time friend Alfred Gorden (Alabaster) at the top records studio, before Baka Solomon later began his Offmonk records.
“It took us [with Alabaster] a very long time to message Baka Solomon seeing his status and contributions towards the country’s music, it took us almost an hour just to send him a ‘Hey’” he said with a laugh.
“Meeting Baka Solomon in the studio was really the start of everything., So eager to learn, I asked Baka Solomon if I could help out with him in the studio and off course he agreed”.
Other than just composing and recording his songs, during spare times he actively does all the vocal recordings for customers.
“While helping out in the studio, I was able to meet some of the country’s top music artists like Ismuki, Stegga, Jah Boy, Jeeno, Jaro Local, Blanco and even my day one heroes, the boys from DMP, to name are few. At first I was afraid and shy but then Baka told me that I should make the most out of these opportunities working with such artists, so I did and thankfully all of them were there to help me”, Ghemu said.
The 5th of May this year saw a huge breakthrough for the 18-year-old when his single ‘No likem me’ featuring Stegga and Jiuggie Mahn was released and became a hit across the country and also to Solomon Islanders living abroad.
“Well, the song is about myself and the situation many of us have gone through, so I asked Jiuggie and Stegga to help me with the song and we’ve managed to complete it which then to my surprise became a hit on social media”.
Just months after its official release, the song “No likem me” produced by local and widely renowned music producer in the country, Masilobo Jack, a.k.a Baka Solomon, remains among the mostly played songs and topped different music charts of local radio stations in the country. The famous words from the song can be heard sang or hummed by young people in and around Honiara.
“Other than just helping me escape reality for awhile during the most difficult times in my life, I was also able to financially support my mother with the little money I received from my gigs”, he said.
With his new single ‘Take back lo west’ just released, the lad says that some of the challenges new upcoming artists in the country face are firstly having to find a studio and money for recording songs and also promoting their songs in and around the country and also in the Pacific region.
With a huge following around his music at only the age of 18, Ghemu says that he dreams big of one day following the footsteps of his favourite childhood band DMP, taking his music outside of the region and going on tours.
“Through the help of the Almighty God, I can achieve my goals and aims in music”, he said.
He also expressed to other new upcoming artists in the country to keep following their dreams and to never give up when facing challenges and difficulties.
“You have to sacrifice, if you start from somewhere them you’ll definitely end up somewhere with your music. You may face many criticisms like I do but always remember that when people talk about you it means that you are on the right path”.
Meanwhile with the 18-year-old artist getting recognition from an early age, he wants to let everyone know that there are other huge projects coming out really soon.