Wednesday, August 02, 2023

Airileke: Melanesian Multi-Talented Musician

Airileke is an artist who has worn many creative hats across his decades-long career.

The Papua New Guinea-Australian grew up with the rhythms of his ancestry built into his upbringing. A talented percussionist, Airileke's connection with culture was intertwined with music from a young age, and became a career as he entered young adulthood.

The years that followed have seen him perform and tour with many globally recognised names including Drum Drum, Telek and members of Sanguma Band; as well as indigenous Australian pioneers including Yothu Yindi, Bart Willoughby and Gurrumul. As his artistry continued to galvanise, so too did Airi's love for fusing contemporary and progressive music, with the traditional Melanesian rhythms and beats that had raised him. Powerful messaging via music became an early driving force of Airi's creative pursuits.

Since 2016, Airi has been working on music and touring with the group Sorong Samarai – a collective of talented musicians and performers from the West Papua / Papua New Guinea regions, united in their drive to celebrate their culture, and bring more awareness about these great peoples, to a global audience.

Airileke takes Sosefina through his career in music and production for this week's show.


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