17 February 2015

Solomon Islands #1: Lovely island sounds

I always find it interesting to look into the music of a country I know pretty much nothing about. Music and music videos can teach you a lot about that country's culture. Today's featured country is one of those kind of countries: Solomon Islands.

Wikipedia: Solomon Islands
I wanted to look into some Oceanic country's music since I only knew about Australia and Vanuatu (possibly New Zealand too, though I can't think of any artist right now). I used a random country generator and the first Oceanic country that came up was Solomon Islands.

And so off I went...

Sharzy. The problem when you want to blog about such a small country's musicians is that it is nearly impossible to find ANY actual information on them. For my knowledge it seems that Sharzy is the only artist from Solomon Islands that has a Wikipedia page. I haven't even been able to find a webpage to any artist, though few have had Facebook pages (which haven't been much useful either). This problem is going to came up better later in this post, so let's get to Sharzy first...

Sharzy has had musical career since 1995 and he sings in multiple languages. He has released many albums (though I can't find more info on them) and on his Wikipedia page it is said that: "He has been described by The Guardian [the British newspaper] as one of the Solomon Islands' "living national icons"." With this and the fact that he has a Wikipedia page, I go assuming he is possibly the most famous singer from Solomon Islands.

The first song from Sharzy is called Wanting You More. It is sing in English and it is a love song. Though some terms used in the song are not so romantic, at least in my opinion. I really like how Sharzy's voice sounds like in this. There seems to be some other dude too singing in this song, but I don't find his name from anywhere. The song sounds very soft, but also uplifting and exoctic. I really love the overall sound of this.

The other song from Sharzy is called Solwara Meri (I have no idea what this means). The song features Taina Gee, who is also an artist from Solomon Islands. I actually found a Wikipedia page for him, but it is just a user page. But it gives out some information. Like that Taina has toured in multiple Oceanic countries since 1992, when he joined a pan pipe group.

Solwara Meri sounds very exotic to me. Like Wanting You More, this song too is soft, but uplifting. It is actually a fairly soothing sound. I have no idea, what language they are singing in; Partly it sounds like English, but partly not. Could it be a mixture of different languages or an interesting dialect? Or maybe I just imagine the English parts. Anyways, it sounds very interesting.

Other singer from Solomon Islands that I like a lot is called Cerlyn or Celyn. I have found two songs where she sings, but they have her name written differently (I am certain it is the same person). So I do not know exactly what her name is. I'd call this the ultimate problem when it comes to the artists from small countries / small music industries. Obviously, I have not been able to find any information on her, so let's just focus on the music.

The song above is called Kam Baek. It seems that this is how to actually write it. It obviously mean Come Back. I think. Maybe this is some cultural thing from Solomon Islands or Oceania? This song too sounds like partly English, partly something else. Do they have a different way of writing and/or pronouncing English there? It would be interesting to know and by a quick googling I was not able to find information on this matter. But whatever language she is singing, it does sound interesting.

I really love this song. So far, this is my favourite song from Solomon Islands. The music sounds soft like in the previous songs of this post. I believe, this is the sound very common to the island nations of Oceania. Cerlyn's / Celyn's voice adds a nice contrast to the music. The song makes me feel wistful and dreamy. There is definitely a strong longing feeling in this song.

This song might be called Heart Soa. Again, the problems arise and I am not even able to get the name of the song right. But I believe it is that. It is sung by T-Cage, Cerlyn / Celyn and Luk-C. I do not have more knowledge on these two new artists either, so let's skip ahead again.

Although T-Cage is named as the main artist, Cerlyn / Celyn has more vocals here. Which is fine by me, since I really like her voice. T-Cage sings well too, but there's something in Cerlyn's / Celyn's voice that really attracts me. I do not know if her voice really sounds like this or if it has been altered, but frankly I do not really even care. But yes, the vocals are great overall.

The music is again that soft kind with an exotic flavour. This is maybe the most exotic (again, exotic in this case means exotic from my point of view, since I am the one writing) one of all these songs in this post. It makes me think about palm trees and beaches, even though there is not anything particularly referring to those.

As a combined review of the music videos, I'd say that it is nice to see what is looks like in Solomon Islands. Pretty much all of the music videos I have seen from Solomon Islands, have been shot at a beach. As it is an island nation, beaches are of course important to them and a big part of their culture. And I have to say that they do look stunning. The music videos are very simple and cheap, but that is reasonable considering how small the music industry must be there. So let's just enjoy the scenery and the music.

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