By JERRY TSINABI
HER beautiful voice and lyrics have touched many fans across Papua New Guinea and she has now been etched in the history of the local music industry as the first female artiste to reach number one on Yumi FM radio’s Top 20 Countdown.
She is none other than female heartthrob Esther Vicky Kave, more commonly known by her stage name Estapacifica. Her first single Mangi West Papua quickly became a hit mid this year which also climbed the top 20 ladder but fell short. Then a couple of months later, she released Gomohane.
The song quickly rose to number one on the playlist as Papua New Guineans from the mountains to the coast alike sang the Dano language of Eastern Highlands as if it was their own.
According to famous Yumi FM senior radio personality and former host of the Top 20 Countdown, Turner Arifeae, aka Kasty, Estapacifica has created history.
“Since Yumi FM introduced its Top 20 Countdown in 1997, no female artiste has ever risen to number one.
“The Top 20 Countdowns over the years were dominated by male artists, or groups which featured male artists.
“Estapacifica, brought in her own style and taste, adding a new flavour and spice suiting the taste of local music lovers with her first single Mangi West Papua – which fell one place shy of making it to number one as the K-Dumen song Burum Ambi maintained its place at number one firmly.
“The breakthrough came after the release of her current hit song Gomohane. A lovely song which is sung beautifully and captures those who are in the bagarap lewa situation.
“Similar to books, music can influence our lives in a positive or negative way. And Gomohane just reflects how it makes people feel and react, especially the menfolk.
“After 23 years, it is history in the making as the first female artiste’s hit single has reached number one.
“This shows that we have talented female artists out there who want to be recognised the same way as their male counterparts in the music industry.
“I personally singled out Gomohane to make number one, and sure enough it did, after just two weeks into the music line-up on Yumi FM.
“We here at Yumi FM congratulate Estapacifica, the first female artist to have her song at number one after 23 years on the Yumi FM Top 20 Countdown.
“Well done Estapacifica, keep up the great vibes, keep your feet firmly planted on the ground and reach for the sky and beyond,” Arifeae said.
Kave was stunned when she heard she had hit number one.
“I have no words for this. I am in complete awe that it happened to be me.
“It has already been a few weeks sitting on number one but the thought of being number one in the country still hasn’t settled in my mind yet,” she said.
According to the singer, Mangi West Papua was sung in Tok Pisin and Bahasa Indonesia.
“It was a song I wrote for my love of the people I grew up with in West Papua. It is more a disclosure song due to our abrupt leaving of West Papua.
“The second song Gomohane was sung in Tok Pisin and Dano (Asaro, Eastern Highlands) dialect. It was a haus krai song I sang to my late uncle. However, I generalised the idea hoping my listeners could connect to the song regardless of what the situation was and who the person was,” Kave explained.
Estapacifica is an Aries, born on April 3, 1994. She is 26 years old. She is from a mixed parentage of Erave in Southern Highlands and Asaro in Eastern Highlands. She grew up in Port Moresby and also in Jayapura, West Papua.
In her early childhood, she attended Waigani Christian Pre-School from 2001-2002, then Boreboa Primary School from 2003-2008. The family then moved to Jayapura and there she attended Hillcrest International School from 2008-2014. Kave then attended Toccoa Falls College, in the United States, from 2014-2019.
The name Estapacifica, according to the artiste, was her Instagram username.
“When I was in the United States, I created an Instagram account and used the name Estapacifica and it stuck. I had quite a lot of followers. I had 21.8k followers from PNG, West Papua and the United States.
“I think I had many followers because of the content I uploaded on my Instagram page.
“However, when I returned to Port Moresby last year, I deleted my Instagram account. Then when I started singing, I thought I’d use my Instagram username so the people who followed me could make connections as to who I am,” she said.
The amazing vocals from Kave are a result of years of singing. She started singing when she was in Boreboa Primary School.
“Singing was just a hobby. I sang for leisure and relaxation. Ever since, music has always been a part of my life.
“I’ve always admired people who can sing so well. I’ve always watched youths in our church who took part in playing instruments and also singing.
“They stood out to me among everyone else. When we moved to West Papua, music was highly involved in their day to day lives. For example: the highlanders of West Papua up in Wamena, they sing while working.
“When there is a work parade in the community, the work will not get done until there is a tribal song that was sung along with it. There usually would be a huge number of both boys and girls working together and singing.
“In this case, music played a role of motivation in that specific activity. Living among the West Papuans, music was their culture, lifestyle and rhythm of the tradition which eventually became mine,” Kave said.
The two songs the musician has recorded fall under the genre of pop/soul/modern classical.
“That does not mean I only sing these genres. I like to keep my options open and branch out to as many genres as possible.
“I never went to music school and I don’t think I will ever have time to go to one. Even if I go to music school, I will fail miserably because I don’t know how to read music,” she said.
She encouraged those interested in music to work hard on their dreams.
“If you put your mind to anything, you can do it. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Even if they did, stand up and prove them wrong.
“I would like to thank everyone who supports me, which I’d like to call them family. You guys are amazing. I see your comments on my post daily. I appreciate you all even though I do not reply to your comments.
“I would like to thank God for being the God he is. As a human, I don’t deserve his love. Also, I would like to thank my immediate family, you guys are my support. Also, to everyone who helped me along the way. I love you all. Thank you so much! Lastly, thank you to this paper for giving me this opportunity to share my story,” she said.
The young singer plays the guitar and is still learning the keyboard. Apart from her music life, she is an office manageress at Port Moresby National High School.
“Singing has always been a hobby and I am now turning it professional.
“But I also play basketball and soccer when I am free and I love cooking,” Kave said.
“I am currently working on two new songs and will release them before the year ends.”
Kave also has a clothing label called MudMuruk.
“I chose the label name MudMuruk because I wanted it to represent me.
“Mud since my mother is from Asaro in Eastern Highlands which is popular for the Asaro mudmen.
“Muruk because my father is from Erave in Southern Highlands. The people here are commonly known for their cassowary or muruk feathers. Thus, the label is my identity,” she said.