By PETER KINJAP
AS at Nov 4, 2018 a PNG rendition of Before The Next Teardrop Falls by Spaniard Freddy Fender from a group known as Makali drew a massive three million views from all over the world on YouTube.
Makali was headed by local musician Mark Tau with the theme ‘One blood’ featuring a young and innocent Motuan girl known only by her first name Hanna who sang the song with an angel’s voice that sparked the world via YouTube, attracting 3,135,709 viewers, 10,000 subscribers, 19,000 shares and 1,426 comments around the globe.
Makali’s ‘Before the next teardrop falls’ by Hanna is not popular in the PNG music scene but when Penekovu Tanikiu uploaded it on YouTube on Dec 3, 2017, it instantly drew a massive global audience in just six months, portraying a potential for PNG singers to penetrate the global music industry.
Hanna sang the chorus of Freddy Fender’s hit in English as well as her local Motuan dialect taking listeners by storm with her magical voice. The comments from the listeners are amazing.
A Mark Smith was first to comment: “Great version. Freddy would be proud of you as we all are. Good job.”
A Teresa Farr comments, “One word! Honey you are more than words can say! U have my vote! Amen. God Bless you!” Marius Devos, a broadcaster from Africa said, “Unbelievable voices! More than beautiful. I’m gonna play the song this Sunday (Aug 17, 2018) on IFM 102.2 in South Africa!
“She should be on America’s Got Talent show, so she will be discovered. She will be a great country singer. This is also one of my favorite songs. I could watch this all day long,” another listener from the US commented.
“I had always thought the Spanish version was the most romantic. This Island (PNG) version just touches my heart and she makes it an innocent and true love,” another fan said.
“What a beautiful voice, you should be heard all over the world,” a fan commented. “I cannot stop listening to this music. Her voice is so beautiful and touching hearts. I wish she has some more songs,” Ziri Colney writes.
“Not only that you are very beautiful but you got a very strong beautiful voice. Are you going to make more YouTube music for us? The man’s voice is also beautiful and soft. Well done Papua New Guinea,” Tekaobo commented.
A Mike Lewis commented, “Awesome. We all belong to the same race [Humanity]. There are those who wish to separate us by our skin color, country of origin and our religion, but they are mistaken. We are all God’s children and I know he is not biased.”
A David Bell commented, “Aside from the original by Freddy Fender, this is absolutely the best I’ve heard of this song. Very nicely done. My hat’s off to the performers, “well, if I were wearing a hat” I will listen to this again. Good job here. God Bless.”
Another fan, Crystal Neel said about young Hanna, “This young lady is absolutely magnetic! Seems her name is Beix. I can’t quit listening and watching this shining star! They sound great together too! I don’t know why she is such a well-kept secret but this kind of elegant beauty needs to be out there more for the world to admire! I don’t even know the words (in PNG dialect) but could listen to her sing in her language for hour on replay!
“This is something that exceeds talent but is a bright shining gift! I hope no one gets her to deviate from her pure natural elegance by the wrong kind of music.”
A fan from India, Tia Imchen wrote, “Stunning…I am in love with her voice. I’ve listened to this song countless times. God bless.”
Orlando Corpuz said on behalf of her spouse, “Please, we wanted to hear more from this sweet beautiful lady with a great voice. I have been listening to this song for the most part of our lives (We are in our 60s and 70s) and have never enjoyed it as much as we do now. Thank you.”
Another fan, Ronnie Pressley said, “She’s beautiful with the voice of an angel. Yes Freddie would be proud of them both. Keep of the good work.”
A Mike Cotty wrote, “Get out of here. You got to be kidding me. OMG, when did God loan us an angel to sing a song for us. Who went to heaven and recorded this video? When did God let you in to even record this angel? My mouth is just wide open in awe and I used to sing this song to my little girl when she was a baby. Great song never new it in this version.”
A Jerry Brewer said, “Wow sweet girl I was around when Freddy came out with this song, liked it then but the way you sang it. It is more beautiful brought tears to my eyes.” I’ve listened to this dozens of times- Freddy would be jealous.
“The girl’s beautiful voice is sharp and crystal clear, just amazing. She is incredible…just incredible. The language they are singing in at the end sounds so sweet.
Beautiful to hear. Please, can the studio release a version of this entire song sung alone by this talented girl please?,” another fan commented on YouTube.
“Wow! Beautifully done. That little girl has a great future. Her voice transcends this earth and takes me to a peaceful place. Do more songs Please!” a Filipino fan wrote.
“Crystal clear voice. Love the native dialect parts of the song,” A fan from Fiji commented.
“Music, the universal language. A youngster with a great voice. Doing justice to Freddy Fender’s beautiful song… “I’m downloading this song!! Love all the way from Poland!!”
“This song and how it was sung by our wantoks really touched me…regards from Vanuatu,” another wrote.
John Bob wrote, “Can’t believe my fellow Papua New Guineans can do this piece that wonderfully.”
A Ron Antonio said, “Absolutely beautiful. One of the best arrangements I have ever heard. Where can one purchase a copy of the words that were sung?
“This girl is not only stunning but her voice is incredible! A very nice production and I’ve listened to this song now at least 20 times, even if I’m not usually into this type of music. Thanks for sharing! What’s her name and where is she from?” another fan wrote. A fan from England Philip Peryman commented, “This is lovely singer and players. Thank you from England.”
Another critic wrote, “They shouldn’t show her back up singer on video it’s all about her and her beautiful voice till the end of the song instead she disappear at the end of the song… Do another video with just her throughout the entire song!!”
“Hey Mr Makali please bring this girl back on for more songs. Her voice is beautiful.” Another fan wrote.
A Ravu Gavara said, “Beautiful voice. Love the voices, PNGs very own version of Dolly Parton. Too good, girl, you should have your own album. You have the voice, and potential.” Another fan wrote from Scotland, “Possibly the best cover I’ve ever heard of this Freddy Fender classic. Well done, you have a Scottish fan.”
Who could not love this girl and her music? I think Fender would be so proud of her and this recording. To me it is one of the best. Thanks for posting it,” a fan wrote.
Another fan comment on YouTube, “Someone please make a CD or a download of this version! I would buy an entire CD not knowing any other song on it just to get a professionally recording of this song in a form I could take with me to play in my car. I’ve been sharing like crazy to gain exposure to these two singers. Can I please be rewarded with a CD? Much love to you both.”
“Am humbled by this beautiful voice of an angel and off course that of the male vocal. The hidden talents of Melanesia PNG best wishes in your life.” OMG, what an enchanting voice, Penekovu, you stole my heart…” A Jared Marar wrote, “My heart is literally pounding out of my chest! I love this version!!”Another fan commented, “Thank you from Sweden for beautiful Song.” Mary Ann wrote, “Wow!! That young girl has an angel voice. Amazing!!!
Her voice touches my heart & soul.” “Beautiful and clear voice, from Portugal. Freddy fender would be proud of this version.”
Another listener on YouTube commented, “What an awesome clear voice! Your song is now playing on Radio X5 Stereo Country. Please send an email for an interview to via: [email protected]”
“Just outstanding. What a voice you have, Hannah! Wonderful to hear the Spanish part of this classic sung in Motu instead,” said a fan.
Nathaniel Shayne Tagilala: “Dolly Parton and Freddy Fender must be thinking of you and your daddy right now congrats and God bless and stay blessed.”
A Peggy Wilson Dobbs said, “This little gal can sing. She sings so easy just opens that mouth and out comes this powerful beautiful voice. Her back is fabulous as well. Hope they have some more songs out.”
A Trevor Miles commented, “Fantastic version of Freddy Fender song. First time I’ve heard somebody else do it justice. Such a universal feeling we men have for a woman we love so purely. Nice move on using Hawaiian (PNG) lyrics to take the place of the Spanish. Excuse me now. Have to close my eyes and hear her sing once more.”
- Peter Kinjap is a freelance journalist, email: [email protected]