South Auckland TikTok star up for three gongs at Pacific Music Awards

todayAugust 8, 2023 6

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South Auckland content creator Canaan Ene started doing bootleg remixes from his bedroom during lockdown.


South Auckland content creator Canaan Ene started doing bootleg remixes from his bedroom during lockdown.

When Canaan Ene started doing bootleg remixes from his bedroom during lockdown, he didn’t think he would one day become a finalist in New Zealand’s biggest Pacific music awards.

The South Auckland content creator is up for three gongs at the Pacific Music Awards (PMA), for best Pacific language, roots/reggae and music video for his work with Junior Soqeta, Swiss and Hales.

The 25-year-old was holidaying with his wife in Australia when he found out, and was beyond ecstatic because when he put his name into the mix, he didn’t think it would get anywhere.

It all started during lockdown, Ene thought he’d play around with some popular songs, remixed with a reggae twist, which began his explanatory video series called ‘Every Song is a Reggae Song’.

His bootleg remix of Adele’s Easy On Me garnered more than two million views on YouTube and TikTok.

“Growing up in south Auckland, you will always hear island remixes of songs, it’s everywhere,” Ene said.

“Bootleg remixes was a lockdown project, a random idea, something to do for fun. The Adele one popped off and went viral, and that’s when I realised that I needed to pay more attention to music production.”

Ene, who has ties to Leauva’a, Malie and Saleaula, Vaie’e in Samoa, was noticed by Stan Walker’s team and Sony soon after that, and worked with them for an official remix.

His original single Luv And Company with Swiss was up for an award at PMA.

Ene’s most recent work was with Hawaiian premier island band, Kapena, for a fresh reggae take on their popular song, Down Under.

Jawsh 685 has hit the top of the US Billboard Hot 100.

“I love reggae, it’s just a nice, feel good genre. I also love the challenge in creating reggae because you have to use real instruments and so emanating those sounds is quite different.”

“Being nominated in the Pacific Music Awards is all that I can ask for, just being recognised is satisfying enough for me, and I’m grateful for that.”

Ene said it’s never been easier to become a musician, producer or content creator with the availability of social media.

The trick was to keep a close ear to the ground for trends and build a following.

“Jawsh 685 showed how music can get out there without having to go through a record label. Traditionally it’s been CD’s, paying for advertising and all that, but social media is here and it’s so much easier to it yourself.

“You don’t go viral with every video, but with diligence, you just create and people will come.”

The Pacific Music Awards will be held at the Due Drops Event Centre in Auckland.

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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