Apia’s night scene will get a surge of hip hop energy tomorrow night when Samoa’s own rap artist Ventry Parker – who also goes by the stage name Poetik – takes to the stage.
Performing at home will not only mark a step towards fulfilling his dream of making music in his homeland, but will also celebrate the start of a new record label, which he hopes will become Samoa’s own for aspiring hip hop artists.
“Last week I started my own company, my own record label and our first release is my solo project called ‘Hamofied’ which is dropping next week Friday. We have been doing more underground stuff so this is a move crossing over to mainstream industry but we want to do it without losing the essence of who we are.”
“The plan is still to come back to Samoa but I might push it back a few months. I was supposed to do the rest of the year overseas and then come back. I’ve been gone for almost seven years but this is where I belong. I just have a few more moves to make and then I’ll move here while the boys can run New Zealand as far as the record label goes,” he said.
Called ‘For the Ville’ his record label is a tribute to Samoan’s deep connection to their village “because everything we do is for the village, its where we grew up.”
“The basis of our teaching is from here and the faaaloalo and love which we incorporate into our music. It comes from here and that’s why we are kind of different overseas, we clash sometimes with our Pacific islanders because their mindset is overseas but over here we have a different way of thinking and we are trying to inject our way of thinking into their system and change the culture in New Zealand.”
Passionate and outspoken on social issues that impact negatively on Samoans and other indigenous people, the anger against systematic racism and perceived imbalance of power between groups is something that he weaves into his lyrics, often to the discomfort of the mainstream audience.
But in the highlands of Tapatapao, that chaos could not be further from Ventry’s mind as he looks out from his home towards a breath taking view, soaking in the familiar valleys and ridges of his childhood.
“My heart is content I feel peaceful here. Overseas I’m very restless, there’s are a lot of distractions and the way life is there – it can break you. To be here is to be in God’s land. Our ancestors are buried here; my dad was born on this land.”
“This is where I come to find peace, and peace is important when I’m trying to write lyrics or be creative. A lot of the music that I write overseas is all the negative stuff that we go through in the hood. But over here, it’s a lot easier to concentrate and write. I’m going to build a studio up here when I get back.”
Poetik will perform at Club X tomorrow night from 8.00 p.m.