Scholarship unveiled for PNG musicians

The Wantok Musik Foundation, in association with APRA AMCOS, has unveiled the inaugural Tony Subam Fellowship.

The annual fellowship is open to any band in Papua New Guinea that has a strong element of cultural expression in their work, and is administered by the Wantok Musik Foundation.

It is named after and in honour of the late Tony Subam, former member of the band Sanguma, which pioneered the use of traditional PNG music and songs in harmony with western styles of music.

The winner of this prize will be a band or group who the judges believe build on exporting the different Papua New Guinea sounds and performances as Tony Subam had achieved with Sanguma and during his association with Wantok Musik Foundation up to his demise on Christmas Day 2011.

Tony had a strong belief that our traditional songs and sounds are unique to PNG music and that Papua New Guineans must be proud of their cultural heritage and roots. Wantok Musik Foundation shares this belief and the Tony Subam Fellowship ensures Tony’s belief lives on.

The recipient of the Tony Subam Fellowship will be awarded a recording session with acclaimed sound engineer and producer Emmanuel Muganaua in Port Moresby.

The recordings will be released on the internationally-recognised Wantok Musik label alongside artists such as Telek, Ngaiire, Mogu, Airileke, Black Paradise from West Papua and the Pidia Kaur Group featuring William Takaku.

The leader of the group will be mentored by producer David Bridie to learn skills to assist the band to discover the right career path for their music. Additionally, two members of the band will be flown to Brisbane, Australia to attend the BigSound music conference to learn about ways of the world music industry.

This is a wonderful opportunity for the right band to carry on the great work done by artists such as Sanguma, Tambaran Culture, Tribes of Jubal, Airileke, Richard Mogu, and many others.

To enter to win this fellowship, Wantok Musik requires a demo recording of your music, a band photo, a brief description of the band/group, and your contact details. Please contact Amy Chapman at to apply. Applications must be digital. Applications close 1st of March 2016.

Wantok Musik Foundation acknowledges APRA AMCOS for funding this fellowship. APRA AMCOS is not new to Papua New Guinea as it has been and continues to advocate for the protection of copyright for PNG artists. If you have not yet registered your songs, please go to the APRA AMCOS website and register your work immediately:

Press Release