Interview with AK47 of the Massive Sound System

By Emmanuel Narokobi

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AK47 showing DJ Naz-T the basics of DJing, like turning the power switch on…

Okay okay, trying something new this afternoon. We’re having Masalai’s first blog interview with a PNG/Aussie band. I particularly like this band because they are based in Australia so a huge effort on their part for flying the PNG flag down there. Although they launched their album in late 2006, it’s only this week that CHM has come out with their CD in their CHM stores.

So here goes our blog interview with Allen Kedea of the Massive Sound System. Allen is based in Brisbane, Australia.

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So Allen or should I say akay47, tell us where you’re from and your role in the band?

Hi, I’m from Barakau & Vabukori (Central Province). My role in the group is Producer, (part-time) Manager & Band Chef, what do I cook? FAT BEATS!

I was checking out your website (awesome tracks by the way) and the first thing I noticed was the incredible size of the group, is each and every individual integral to the Massive Sound System sound? (You can see their website here and see also their appearance in Triple J’s unearthed website)

Glad you liked the tracks! I guess not everyone was necessary to complete this first album. But the fact that we had everyone accessible probably lent to the unique sounds, lyrics and concepts that came out of each recording session.

Considering you’re all from separate backgrounds, how did you all come together?

I met Dezi-K through her cousin which I went to uni with (studied at Griffith Bach Design) back in 2001 and we’ve been recording together ever since. Toro I’ve known since high school as I’m best friends with his older brother. Amps and G-Dog were introduced by Toro and Jules & Mathew are boys I met from the Southside a year ago. BJ & T-Dog are twin brothers who I first met in high school through their older sisters back in PNG. One of the sisters Alison is the female vocalist we’ve featured on the track Everywhere. Dezi-K’s the only musically trained one out of the whole crew, the rest of us are all self taught (so to speak).


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How would you describe your sound?

The Massive Sound System sound is really meant to be digestable music that makes you think while bouncin your head. We don’t shy away from serious issues (like poverty, lack of education and corruption in our political system). We try to execute each song with defined beats and sweet melodies so you’re enticed to hear what we got to say. Our music is basically like fast food, with phat beats, tasty chord structure and finger lickin melodies, we have a sound kinda like fried chicken; it’s bad for you but tastes good and always leaves you wanting more. Some people hate it and others will be curious, but I think most will be left wanting more!

Okay well thanks for the sample tracks, guys grab your headphones cos you can listen to some of those phat beats below.

Please Note: You will need Windows Media Player to play the following tracks. If you do not have this program please click here to download a free copy.

Click on a track to hear the hot tunes, (samples only)


CD Playlist (2006).


Freedom Flight (click to rate this phat beat)!



Yesu (featuring S.P.L.C PNG Choir ‘97)



Be Mine



Mangi Moresby (featuring Daddee-G & Aiba)



Everywhere (featuring Alison Joyce)



Bitch Stop Lyin’



Black Queen



Dear Fran



Skit – Churducation



Lead Guitar History (featuring David Kedea)



Skit – Our Music



One More Chance









Cruise Control



You Will Know



Skit – Step Right Up



Mummy Shaker



Skit – Any News



Telling You


So, congrats on the release of your music and the exposure on our PNG radio stations here, tell us a little about the recording?

The whole project just started as a fun thing with a bunch of blokes having fun recording and writing in the studio. Don’t get me wrong, the songs do serve a purpose but we didn’t plan on recording an album – it just sorta happened. We started with 1 and before I knew it we had 5, then 10 songs and after a while there was enough for an album.

We should’ve released straight into Australia but nobody knew who Massive Sound System was in PNG and you can’t say your from somewhere and not be know there (that’s my opinion). So we decided to release a couple of songs to the stations there while I was DJing for a big new years gig. Things started to happen up for us once we got high rotation on national radio with a track called, ‘Everywhere’ which I wrote in grade 10 (high school)!

In regards to the concept of the album, once I realised we had enough to do an album I wanted to theme it up and have an underlying idea. We sat down and discussed issues that meant a lot to all of us as a collective. The general consensus with the group was that we were all PROUD to be from PNG but felt that our people were been NEGLECTED by the government (or the system) because of their GREED and corruption for wealth. Hence the album’s title: Pride, Neglect Greed. We also chose those three words cos each starting letter spells PNG which is what the title is in reference to.

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I contemplated keeping the album clean with no obsecene language and had one track that had a couple of swear words. We sent that to our initial label in PNG and they said they wouldn’t release in PNG because no artist had ever done that and it was morally wrong to have swearing on a record. That was basically the catalyst to all the rude songs on the album! The way I see it people laugh, cry, shout, scream and curse all the time. It’s all a part of being a human and I want our music to be REAL, not fake and pre-fabricated stories. There’s a song called Black Queen which I wrote for a friend that I cared for cos like most PNG women she doubted herself and her abilities. At the same time we wrote Bitch Stop Lyin’ because there are some girls that lie all the time and wonder why their hated and not trusted and called a Bitch. Just like Tupac wrote, Wonder Why The Call You Bitch. And that’s life, you can love one day, hate the next and it’s an ongoing battle as a human being in the conscious. So you go out, drink and have fun with your friends and that’s where all our party tracks come into play. We did little skits throughout the album to tie in the whole Pride Neglect Greed theme in a fun way.

96.5 – Nau FM

89.9 – FM Central

93 FM – Yumi FM

Who or what inspires your sound?

I guess it’s safe to say that we (the group) all grew up on reggae, hip hop and r’n’b music. Dezi-K our female vocalist has a Jazz & Blues background and all the boys love rap music but their taste in Hop Hop varies. Mathew and Glen like more underground rap like Tek9, Mos Def, J5, Blackalicous and the big thinkers like Tupac. Toro & Amps like the classics like Snoop, DPG, 50 and Dre. I grew up with a lot of Rock n Roll and local PNG music. I still dig the Beatles, Credence Clearwater Revival, Chuck Berry, Little Richard as well as the early Motown era. Obviously Bob Marley and the Whailers from the reggae scene as well as Jimmy Cliff, Burning Spears, Toots & The Maytels and all the classics from Studio One. I really got into the Electronic scene (which is kind of weird for an islander boy) when I first heard Norman Cook’s, You’ve Come A Long Way Baby. That album just rocked my world and got me into producing! From there I researched and studied a lot of producers like MJ Cole, Pharell, Nittin Sawhney, P-Money and of course the father of Hip Hop Dr Dre. I got into House & Breaks in 2000 and that was my introduction to DJing in the valley. Lately we’ve been inspired by a lot of Matisyahu, Roots and Damien Marley (one of Bob’s sons – Junior Gong).

Do you listen to any PNG music, and who do you think has done well for the local PNG music scene?

Yes I do listen to PNG music so I can only really speak for the bands/ artists that have influenced me over the time. When I was kid we used to listen to a lot of string band music like the Copy Cats & Iarowari Drifters. I guess after that there were bands like The Deejays, Clock Work Orange, Sanguma Band, Memehusa, Barike and Artists like George Telek, Lista Laka & Lenard Kania. More recently artists like Gedix, Oshen, Moses Tau and DaddiGee have really caught my ear. There are too many to mention but these artists I think have done a great job to set standards.

I understand that your father was a musician himself, what was growing up like for you musically?

I guess where we come from (PNG) music is a constant part of our lives growing up. So we learn free-fall harmony at a young age and always thought that everyone did that. It’s only when we came to Australia and realised it wasn’t the norm.

As we all get older and more mature we tend to listen to lyrical content a little more and the underlying message of a song. But it was and has always been about the music and the way it hits you when you’re down and picks you up! NOTHING DOES IT LIKE MUSIC.

I personally think that rap and hip hop today has become like the latest pop music, what are your thoughts?

We don’t like getting caught up in all the rap ‘shenanigans’ (as you would call it). That’s not what Hip Hop is about and it’s sad that the media focus on it so much and some artists glorify it. It certainly sells so I can see why they do it from a marketing perspective but you begin to loose the true essence of any genre when you indulge in all that bullshit. Rock has the same ‘shenanigans’ but they just don’t glorify it (as much) so we try not to indulge in it either. It’s always been about the music and saying something that makes people think. If our manager told us that throwing a couple of semi-nude girls in our film-clips would make us an extra million then maybe we’d indulge a little.

So, the bands name? where did that come from?

The word Massive is derived from the word Masses meaning a unified body of large quantity. We also use the word Massive in it’s literal sense of large or huge. Sound System has a metaphorical meaning. The literal is that of a device used to generate sound like a stereo system. The underlying meaning is that we are a sound system, a voice amplifying and voicing what most people (the masses) should be saying, but they don’t or can’t. We are that tool, like a megaphone used in a rally to gather people grab their attention and move them in herds.

Music is a very influential medium and obviously with your release and the attention you are getting what sort of image do you want to portray?

Yes we are image conscious and I think you have to be nowadays. Only because we have so many genres, sub genres, markets and groups of youth today. We’d like to blur those groupings cos it can work as a border which is wrong. And to do that, you have to understand your market and target them. So we are conscious of what image we portray because we want to hit the people that will make a difference tomorrow, if they start thinking today… The Youth.

What’s your favourite track on the album and why?

Shit, that’s like asking an aspiring chef what their favourite dish is… it will only last a day or a week as a favourite. Right now at this very point it would have to be, ‘Freedom Flight’.

It has a lot of meaning to it in regards to corruption in PNG. It a;so has a catchy hook and I love the beat on it with the reggae stabs. Just works for me.


What’s the hardest thing about being you?

I think way too much and too deeply ALL the time about everything and anything which makes me impatient (so I’ve been told). I’m very fussy in the studio and like to take my time on things to get it right. Sometimes it’s better to just let things go a little and I’m working on that.

What’s the peak of Massive Sound System’s career so far?

Getting major radio air time on national radio in PNG with our commercial release of, ‘Everywhere’ is up there. And getting signed in our own country is a biggy. The wheels are now in motion.

What’s the grand plan for Massive Sound System? Are you going to conquer the world?

We want to release our album in Australia eventually! So if you’re an AnR person reading this… CALL ME. Ha ha ha… kiddin (sorta). We’d like to hopefully get some recognition in the Pacific, Australia and New Zealand. From there we might try South East Asia and then YES, conquer the world LOL!!!!! We want to make a difference with our music but have to get peoples attention first and that’s our goal at this point. All good things come to those who don’t sit on their asses and you can quote me on that!

Is there anything you would like to tell the world about you, your music, your album, your past, what you may be remembered for or even anything amusing from your tours or other experiences.

I guess at the end of it all (the recording and release of this debut) I just want us to be respected for what we do as musicians. I know not everyone’s going to like our music and I know some things we say may ruffle some feathers (in PNG) but after all is said and done, we’re practising freedom is speech being conscious lyricist/ artists.

Australia really is the land of opportunity and I’ve learnt so much since I’ve been here. We (MSS) have almost done a full circle where we left PNG to gain experience and knowledge from different cultures, lifestyle and markets and now we’re ready to return with something that will hopefully make a difference and give back to our community.

I honestly think our music will make a difference! It sounds cliché but hopefully our music will inspire people to live their lives knowing that dreams can come true with the power of knowledge and the right attitude.

Any last words for the public?

Get ready for some phat beats cos I’m frying some up in the studio as we speak… new project for 07/ 08.

And one final question, do you think you will use my track on your next album? (Yes that’s right readersYours truly has an idea for a music track)

Ha ha ha… maybe. We love the sample you’ve given us but there’s copyright issues we have to look into. Maybe we can do an underground release?

Damn! Okay anyways thanks heaps for your time AK, good luck with MSS and everyone out there in PNG, check out your nearest CHM shop to get your copy of the MSS album!

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42 thoughts on “Interview with AK47 of the Massive Sound System

  1. hey mss bi totally dig your stylr of music, tis diverse and its worth listen to mad props to you all… do you have any advise for Lil kanaka’z trying to make it in this game??? you see i’ve been writing raps and been busting freestyle do you all think that PNG is ready for that??

  2. When I first heard the band on hi5 in the internet, I thought it was one of the bands in US. They had really great songs and I always enjoyed thier songs off the Hi5 on the net. It’s just this year that I realised it’s a band with ma PNG bro’s playn it in.

    Congrats to all those involved with Massive Sound System. ‘I love “Everywhere”!!


  3. Congrats MSS!

    From the other part of the world where I am at, O-Shen i wok long pairapim America olsem garamut i stap.

    This dude is really doing a lot for PNG and has gained a huge following in the region. I am at the moment listening to his demo with Jamaica’s Third World coming out soon in his next album and I would be putting out a feature article on him in The National soon.

    Mi hamamas long harim MSS. I like Bitch Lyin’.

  4. @Solo
    Bro, isi lon raun wantaim O’shen yah…na you save…send me a copy ASAP. Oh yeah “Bitch Lyin” is simply marvelouse…….now I think I shud go get a copy from CHM if it’s out already.

  5. Hey Flaver, Ray, Rex Rodney & Solo!

    Thanks so much for your kind words of ecouragement. I’ll be looking to upload a song or two for mp3 download so let me know your email addresses and I can email them.



  6. I share the same sentiments as my high school mate Dr Rodney Itaki, not only am I proud to call myself a Papua New Guinean but also proud to have a very close family member excelling in the music industry both within the country and abroad.


  7. Hey Ak47, could you send the song ‘mangi moresby’? If thats possible…
    Like the song but just downloaded the sample na just hear it over and over again…lol!

    Keep up the good work…. MSS kam gud


  8. Hey Roby,

    Bro I don’t currently have the final edits for the entire album so unfortunately I can’t post ‘Mangi Moresby’ or email it. The CD’s should be out in-store soon and the cassettes are definitely in-store nationwide as we speak via CHM.

    Grab a copy if you can from CHM cos it’s worth the listen. DaddiGee does a great job in the bridge and the track has a real relaxed pacific reggae feel to it that’s refreshing.



  9. @AK

    Bro…thank you so much for the mp3….wow!! I’m lost for words….

    I am definately getting a CD copy …
    Plis do let me know if you guys are performing live anywhere coz I wanna be there and here you all sing live!!


  10. Oh ok mate.. i got the cassette from a friend and yeah heard all the songs.. they are all great songs!!
    Pres (Emmanuel) isi yah…hehehe…. yeah i will try get myself a copy of the cd if i go to boroko. Or i will come and borrow the CD from you?lol

    Keep up the good work

  11. Yeah thats a good idea… put the interview in the newspaper so they can know about the MSS, cos i biliv most people who dont know think this group is a full of white band!! But em al save pes lo png yah…LOL!!

    Ps: And put the photo too for some promo….shhhh nogud al karangi na tin yu em Akay…LOL!! tok pilai chol

  12. I’ve put something on O-Shen in today’s PC’s Weekender Magazine. I hope something similar can be done for MSS! Let promote our local artists

  13. Thanks guys, sent an email to Akay and waiting on his response.

    @Solomon, can you help with putting the article in PC? (Tru yah, nogut ol confuse na ting olsem mi, LOL…., maybe I shouldn’t use that pic then)

  14. Yeah Solo, i read the article in the post today and it was a rait one…down to earth bugger and proud Pngean, i would say…. and yupla 3 pla staring stret lo Hawaii…

    Pliss help do the same for other artists or bands like MSS and lets help promote them any which way we can.

  15. Good idea guys, I will try and get in touch with the papers cos the feedback and response to this Blog has been tremendous!

    I’ve had PNG people emailing me from Calirfornia, Philippines & Sydney about the ‘Yesu’ track.

    The music is hitting people in the right spot, their hearts and minds, and as Bob Marley sung, “One good thing about music when it hits ya, YOU FEEL NO PAIN.”


  16. hehehe…i was surprised when O-Shen told me that it was a cultural shock for him coming to America and being surrounded by white kids. Turangu mangi ples ya! Imagine someone from the village going to the States…that was him.

    Top mangi…em wokim na olgeta man lo hia laik lainim tok pisin hehehe…

    Manu..I’ll try and help out with putting out an article for MMS! Ol mangi PNG ya…let’s fly the PNG flag higher. I hope our artists can record abroad like them and promote our young country.

  17. I love the Yesu soundtrack…very unique…Love it! Akay47…you do a good job! I have the raggae remix…Now that is awesome as well! Go, go, go! Putim PNG igo pass! I will definetly be supporting MSS all the way!…

    Tokples, tasol wokim na mi cry ya! Kaaaaarrrr*


    “Where words fail, music speaks”

    1. Engan oh,
      The phrase “Where words fails, music speaks” its really touching me ya em orait kain blo upla ol way back ya karr…
      Tingim wanem na, sometimes we have to appear on the front page as well. Not always back page as the other PNGeans say.
      Original miok mi tok!!
      YBO original.

  18. Have heard the music. Well done guys, keep it up. Can’t wait till some of your beats start pumping in the major clubs in POM.

  19. Can an Engan translate the tokples part?

    I have emailed the song to many friends and they are asking what the tokples means. Ol ino understandim tasol the song is very powerfull and is touching every listener!

    Sent the song to a friend in UK. Says brings back memories of him working at the Tinsley Baptist Hospital in Western Highlands where the song was sung in Sunday services.

    Mi blo Enga too tasol…olsem nogut mi tanim tok kranki liklik!

    1. Hay Rodney,
      How na you no save lo tokples and yet you are an Enga? eeedopaka…well not a problem, just translate the way you want to becasue it’s not that hard as you think.
      That simply means Jesus oh mi kam lo yu, wanem ples yu stap lon em mi kam. Mi karim wari na heavy kam lon ples yu stap lon em…..
      wadx, original miok breed mi tok…

  20. Hey Kaks Akay,

    The album totally rocks, bought a cassette at CHM here in Lae… Bro I really digg “Cruise Control”, My mates here in UNITECH are loving this song.
    Congrats and all the best..

    Pass my hi to Mick…

    Tadimu Sio

  21. Hi Sio,

    Glad you like the album bro and great to hear from you! I hope all your study’s are going well in Lae. I will pass your greetings to Mick and hope to see you next time I come to POM!

    Hi Rodney,

    Quick toksave, all the lyrics for the songs are in the booklet to the Cassette and CD. This includes Yesu. Hope this helps you bro.



  22. As I read this blog from da streets of london I just cant stop laughing at my desk – brilliant interview keep up the great work T Dog

  23. Everyone loves your music :) you have done extremely well and look forward to hearing some new stuff. I only know this because my house mate is from Vabukori (Spelling?!). Your Naka Blood collaboration song “Time Is Now” is her morning wake up Jam, it kinda grows on you after a while.

    We play this song at a pub and people love it! Good stuff :)

    PNG Influenced Sydney Fan !!

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