Telek Sings for the Freedom of West Papua

During the 1990’s Papua New Guinea’s locally beloved singer/songwrtier George Telek became an international star when he seamlessly blended rock, reggae, stringband music and indigenous Papuan three-part harmonies on the album “Serious Tam,” released on Peter Gabriel’s Real World label. Telek hails from the Tolai village of Raluana, near the city of Rabaul in East New Britain and sings both in Tok Pisin and the Tolai language of Kuanuan. He started his musical career in the ’70s, playing in popular stringbands such as The Moab Stringband and The Jolly Roger Stringband before joining The Kagan Devils, The Unbelievers Revival Band and eventually the rock group Painim Wok (“looking for work”) which was PNG’s biggest rock band in the 80’s. His collaboration with Australian musician David Bridie broke new ground by fusing Papua New Guinean and Australian sounds. In this video we hear him singing a song promoting the freedom of West Papua, a province of Indonesia that shares the same island as PNG.