Urban Island music has grown within the past year. With new music artists rising and understanding what it takes to make music and put it out there, it could be anyone’s market. Deep in the south pacific there is a musician who has made his own way and a has fan base throughout the pacific rim. Signed to Mangrove Productions in New Caledonia and living in Cannes, Australia is music artist Justin Wellington. He has put in the work to grow as an artist and this time has his eyes set on the US to grow here.
TWID: What is your background?
Justin Wellington: My family are Australian. My grandparents moved to Papua New Guinea in the 1960’s. Our family lived in PNG for a few decades and I was born in PNG and grew up most of my early life in PNG. I never really had much to do with Australia until my adult life. I grew up most of life in PNG and North America. I did most of my high school in Canada and that’s when I started to get into music with singing and songwriting. Currently, for the past 10 years, I have been based here in Cannes, Australia. I travel regularly around the pacific and am in PNG quite often. I’ve just been doing music for the past few years and its been quite good.
TWID: Can you share with us your diverse sound?
Justin Wellington: I love reggae. I love R&B. I’ve been throwing this concept around with a few different people like my manager and in different interviews and people are always mentioning this genre called urban island. I think my genre would partially step into urban island but or island pop is a term that I came up with. That represents more of the kind of stuff that I do.
TWID: Who are some of the artists that have inspired your music today?
Justin Wellington: I get asked this question all the time. When I was in highschool, I was into Brian Mcknight and Joe. So, I was heavily into R&B and that’s what I wanted to do but then when I left high school and began being based in the pacific, my style started to really change. Now I like reggae, dancehall, reggaeton, and I like pacific music. Artists like Veikoso I’ve been listening to for more than 10 years now. He’s been the benchmarks for a long time in pacific music. Especially in his talent for music and he really set the tone for a lot of people in the pacific and took the standard to another level. I’m just saying him because in PNG(Papua New Guinea) Veikoso’s had so much airplay and we’ve been listening to him for so long.
TWID: Can you share with us your music journey?
Justin Wellington: I’ve released three albums so far. They’ve been done through Mangrove Productions which is a record label based out of New Caledonia and I’ve been with them since the beginning. At the moment now I’m working on new stuff. I am doing quite of few collaborations. Quite a few different artists around the pacific. I’ll be releasing an EP by the end of this year. It’s a half album so probably about five songs. I’m in the writing stage at the moment and recording will come soon after.
TWID: How was the song island sound produced?
Justin Wellington: That was the biggest collaborative song project I’ve done. It was produced by Whitcombemedia and K&Nela Music was featured on the track. It was also co-produced by my label as well which was Mangrove Productions as well. The song came on effort from so many different places. It started last year and I was in American Samoa with Whitcombemedia and we were doing some work out there. They wrote the song specifically for me to sing. I knew that we needed to make this song big and have the right elements to it because it was such a strong song. We reached out to Theresa over at IslandBeats.com and she linked us up with K&Nela Music. The song was made in American Samoa, North America, New Caledonia, and Cannes Australia. All these little bits and pieces came together from different parts of the world. We managed to get the video done as well the same way and it all came together. It was a really cool experience and a wide ranging effort that came together to make this song possible.
TWID: When is your next big performance?
Justin Wellington: Right now I’m just focused on working on my EP but my next big show will in September in New Zealand. I will be performing in Wellington at the big PNG Independence liberation celebration out there. I’m looking forward to that. So, that’s my next one. I’ll probably go to PNG within the next month and then I have a show in Fiji in December. That’s about it for me for the end of the year and the rest of the time I will be working on my music. Being based out here in Australia, I’m just doing local gigs around the cities here in local clubs and pubs.
There is no doubt Wellington will do well wherever he goes he will be successful. He has the right attitude, work ethic, and determination to elevate him to the next level. His kind and humble character has him in the right lanes of opportunity and that’s WhatItDo!
Article Written By: Elizabeth Lavulo
*Photos and YouTube video courtesy of Miranda Management