By ISAAC LIRI
CREATING beats, baselines and melodies in music these days is so much easier with the advent of technology providing software such as Reason, Fruity Loops, Adobe Audition and Pro Tools. These provide platforms that assist many self-taught musicians across the country to better their music. This is a far cry from the days when local recording artists such as Robert Oeka, Basil Greg, Wali Hits and many more others went through the hard way. Holed up in the studio to record, and re-record until the sound was perfect.
Young musician James Oni aka JKingz uses his knowledge of music software to record bhis music. He also performs live from time to time. His practically is then reflected on the music software which he uses to produce music audios of various genres more commonly that of the new generation such as tropical house, dance, island reggae and so on.
His parents are from Bougainville, one from Panguna and the other from Hanahan. JKingz is not a household music artist, but is one of those quiet yet talented musician who one day dreams of making a breakthrough in the music industry.
Coming from a family of musicians James started playing live music when he was 10 years old in Arawa, Central Bougainville.
“My uncles from my mother’s side were into music so it was like a family thing. Some of my uncles like Benjamin Palin and Franco Palin play with the famous Niu Age band and when I was growing up, I picked up a lot of music skills and techniques from them,” he said.
In 2010, while doing his grade 8 at Hahela Primary School, Buka Island, JKingz was introduced to music software’s by his older brother Xavier Oni, and from that time on started creating his own music using the live music skills refined during his childhood years.
“I started using Fruity Loops back then and from then on have created a lot of beats and even recorded myself and many others.
“Because I started playing live music at an early age, the introduction of music software helps me a lot today because I can now transfer the skills I used in live performance in the software,” he said.
Today JKingz, sings, raps, plays the guitar, on the keys his fingers are flexible and he can even keep a perfect and tight timing when sitting behind the drum kit, the man is a all-in-one package. A talent that is truly admirable.
He is currently in his third year of studying Social and Religious Studies at the Divine Word University. Whenever he has the free time, he works on creating beats and recording using his laptop, speakers, microphone and other musical software.
His free time in Buka is spent with his older brother Xavier whom he helps to record various artists under the label Likol Noise Productions.
In 2015 JKingz recorded a single with Port Moresby-based Generation Dot Com titled Angelo Paramed.
The song automatically became a hit at the Divine Word University in Madang. It also received airtime on radio stations FM 100, NBC, Radio Bougainville and a video clip of the song frequently featured on NBC’s replay program.
JKingz knows he has a long way to go in life and is positive that one day he will have his own studio to record artists from all walks of life.
“I have a dream to run a studio officially for business but that will come later after I complete my studies here at Divine Word University, so right now it’s just part time, it’s like a hobby.”
The man from AROB knows that the music industry in PNG is not as big as in countries like Australia, UK or USA, but he believes there is a way forward which the government and other corporate houses can do to help talented musicians.
“If there is a proper music policy in our country, I believe that artists everywhere in PNG will benefit. There is a lot of talent out there but the government must come in and help music for the good of everyone. Music can be part of the economy, if it is part of the economy, artists will benefit big time.”
The sounds of each musician somewhat differs from person to person depending on their musical ability and the type of genre they are immersed in. You can also get a glimpse of someone’s personality in their music.
For JKingz the loss of his father last year was somewhat softened by his music. “Music is healing,” he said.
By ISAAC LIRI