Mt Lemina feat. U.S. Pacific Fleet Band, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and Philippine Navy
The music video of the Wame Blood hit song, “Mt Lemina (KR Nongo)” featuring musicians of the United States Pacific Fleet Band, the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force, and the Philippine Navy was released today 1 September 2021 (0800 PNG time) on the Pacific Partnership Facebook page to mark the last virtual stop of Pacific Partnership 2021. Johnny Yawari, leader of award-winning PNG band Wame Blood said, “This musical exchange on the back of technology circumvents challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and this is arguably the first of its kind for Papua New Guinea.”Covid-19 has reset a lot of human activities.“The Covid-19 pandemic stopped international travel in 2020 and 2021 and has drastically changed the way governments, businesses, churches, families and individuals go about their daily routines. We understand that it has stopped the Hawaii-based United States Pacific Fleet Band from making its annual visit to PNG in 2020 and 2021.”However, social media, technology and the law have allowed the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band to pay a virtual visit. “The U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby reached out to us on social media about an interest by the Pacific Fleet Band to record and release a cover of our hit song and we embraced the opportunity. Our independent music publishing administrator, Oala Moi, went to work immediately and executed the licensing agreement last month following weeks of negotiations via email.”The lyrics, catchy tune, top notch production by B-Rad Studio, and song popularity (thanks to local radio stations and social media access) are behind the decision to cover the song. “We understand the Pacific Fleet Band warmed up to the song as it expressed their longing to visit PNG as they usually do except Covid-19 stood in the way. It’s interesting how lyrically, the song uses metaphors like ‘Mt Lemina' and ‘Wara Mendi' to describe roadblocks or challenges and how we can refer to the global pandemic in a similar context for the Pacific Fleet Band.”The song reinforces bilateral ties through music. “Music and lyrics are universal and borderless, and this point is made by musicians of the United States Pacific Fleet Band, the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force, and the Philippine Navy performing on a song that is not written in their mother tongue. The bond and the understanding that it creates between our respective countries and people is far-reaching.”The song is registered with APRA AMCOS for collective management purposes, and the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band will release a music video of their rendition on their official social media pages in addition to giving us the exact same videos to share on the Wame Blood Facebook page, YouTube channel and website commencing on 1 September 2021.“Everyone at Wame Blood looks forward to the launch of this milestone music project and we hope our fans enjoy it too.”Wame Blood thanks those in PNG and the United States that made this possible, especially the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby, the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band, the Wame Blood music publishing administrator, and Wame Blood management.