What local artists think about music industry in PNG

How much life is there in Papua New Guinea’s music industry?

This question has recently resurfaced with Tati Mangi PNG’s controversial music video attracting attention to the industry.

The obvious truth stands that this industry is one underachieved and has been struggling for decades.

And like Tati, all musicians hope the government will extend its hand for a little boost.

Here’s what some had to say about the industry:

Stud Cruzer from Planet Native

I see that it’s a struggle actually. Music development is fine but in terms of piracy it is a major setback for musicians. I could say there is no Entity that entitles musicians to grow. From that perspective where there is no proper form of income in music in PNG. Music is a powerful factor which connects people. It can form an expression like no other and if carefully nurtured through linguistic and cultural dividends it can become a social and economic benefit; this may be inclusive to tourism, job creation, economic growth and strengthen a country by brand. Currently we are slowly moving into different genres untouched by PNG and yet to dwell into (Hip-Hop, Reggae etc.) what might be an interesting clash of culture.

Somebody should focus on adding an extra foot onto the ladder for the Music Industry in PNG so they can reach their full potential; thus record Musicians under record labels and render our own style and have some form of security with this market.

At this moment it seems like everybody will be putting a lot into their work but won’t get no proper recognition or credibility which to me seems like a waste of blood, sweat and tears. We have a lot of vibrant Musicians in PNG who love making music but they need to be utilized properly and respected to help them come out of the box, you never know it may be a milestone PNG never had.

Sammy Oeka

Musicians are the biggest losers. We put time, effort, and lots of money into achieving a project but we get very little recognition for that. Piracy is still a big issue with others like Chinese shops making money off from our work. This industry is struggling! We don’t even have a specific minister to hear our cry and fight for us.

The Censorship board of PNG seems to have just woken up from a long sleep. If they want to go down hard on local musicians, they have to do the same for international content as well.

Sprigga Mek (PNG Hip Hop Underground)

In general, music industry in PNG is stepping up. Everyone have their own studios, doing their own thing, coming up with their own style these days. I just wish the government can come up with a governing body that can regulate the music industry so we actually get paid for our songs playing on air when requested – so everyone can be compensated equally for the time and effort we put into the studio.

Right now, you put your music out for free, everyone likes it and you do a gig for money. Those musicians who don’t have a full time job, they depend on gigs to make money. That trend is ok but is really sad because the industry, standard of music is going up but compensation in terms of publishing and copyrights is just stagnant for many decades now.

If the government can just extend a helping hand to the musicians, we can make an actual living off music.

When speaking to Loop PNG this week, Tati Mangi PNG said currently there’s only a group of radio stations in PNG that’s signed with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) so when songs of member musicians are aired, they get paid. 

Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) is a copyright collective representing New Zealand and Australian composers, lyricists and music publishers. APRA is a member of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC).

The onus is now back to the government.

Gloria Bauai