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RnB artist Kaiit coming to Samoa next month

Papua New Guinean Australian neo-soul singer Kaiit Waup is booked to perform in Samoa next month, as well as deliver music workshops to women ahead of White Ribbon Day, the global campaign to end male violence against women and girls.

Ms Waup, who goes by her first name as her stage name, has been co-signed by Erykah Badu (who is about to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award in Dallas, Texas) and Jill Scott.

She is just 21 years old but has already been nominated for a 2019 ARIA Award for Best Soul/Best RnB Release (for her single, Miss Shiney), and won New Talent of the Year at the 2019 National Indigenous Music Awards in Darwin

GQ Magazine called her “full of soul and bursting with swagger,” while Miss Vogue says she is “Australia’s "Homegirl" You Need To Know Right Now.”

Island Base Productions, with funding from the Australian High Commission will be taking Kaiit around Samoa from the 4th December to run workshops for women.

She’ll give a public performance at Home Café on the 11th of December, the day after White Ribbon Day on the 10th.

Managing Director of Base FM and Island Base FM Jasmin Ziedan said as a charismatic, energetic young woman, Kaiit will hopefully give Samoa’s female creatives the passion to follow their own creative dreams.

For many women in Samoa, their passions are stifled by home, family and work commitments. 

“From working with youth in the last six months, some of the biggest talent we’ve seen is definitely the girls,” Ms. Ziedan said. 

“But that is where it stops, because as soon as we want to book them or do more projects with them, their family won’t let them because they don’t look at it as a career, or something that they should take seriously.

“We want to empower them to stick up for themselves, believe in themselves that they have that right.”

Ms. Ziedan said the workshops will be open to all women.

“It can be musicians but it can also just be any woman who is fed up with the system and wants to do her own thing, and has some kind of vision.

Kaiit will be involved in designing the workshops she’ll deliver for the Samoan women. As well as a singer and songwriter, she also makes and sells jewellery, is a fashion designer and runs a dance crew.

She also wants to record a track and film a music video with aspiring young female musicians while in Samoa, Ms. Ziedan said, and to work with them closely to help them “come out of their shell.”

With White Ribbon Day at the end of the trip, there may be reason to spend time talking about experiences of abuse. Ms. Ziedan said no matter where they are from, most women will have experienced violence either at home or outside, and music can be a tool to cope with and process it.

“It’s in Samoa, it’s in Papua New Guinea. 

“But it doesn’t define you, it’s about figuring out how to deal with it, it’s about giving women tools, mediums to speak their heart and move forward from it.”

Kaiit has become a sensation in just two years. When Ms. Ziedan met her in early 2017 and booked her for a small Base FM show, she could already tell what a hit she would become.

Her first two releases, Natural Woman and 2000 n Something have been streamed more than a million times on Spotify, and she even makes her own jewellery.

“You could see the reaction in the crowd, it was a beautiful thing. There was so much love and energy in the room,” Ms. Ziedan said of that first Auckland show.

The pair have been talking since then about getting Kaiit to the islands, something the Port Moresby born singer is excited about doing.

Bringing Kaiit to Samoa costs tens of thousands of tala, even with the generous discount she is able to offer a local minded production team like Island Base FM, Ms. Ziedan said.

Ms. Ziedan intends to continue working with Australia to bring more artists like Kaiit. 

Island Base is also collaborating with the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development in order to align to their priorities for female empowerment, and is getting some sponsorship from the Samoa Tourism Authority. 

It is Island Base’s second major event in Samoa, after bringing the band Down to Please to the island in June where they wrote and produced a track with aspiring young singers, rappers and musicians.

Ms. Ziedan intends to bring at least six Pacific artists to Samoa a year from New Zealand and Australia to not only perform but offer their skills and expertise to young artists and school age youth.

 

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