Vanuatu’s long time singer songwriter Alcina Charley is finally making a comeback with the release of her long awaited new album Yahweh Jehovah happening this week as the country gets ready to celebrate its 40th Independence Anniversary.
Alcina says, “Yahweh Jehovah is a celebration of my musical journey and contributions throughout the many decades of my involvement in the music industry.”
“Coincidentally, the album has arrived at an important time as I am also turning 40 at the end of the year so it’s a double celebration for me which I am proud of and I want to thank families, friends, and fans for their patience as I did announce the album back in 2016. It took a while but it’s finally arrived,” she said.
There are ten original tracks recorded and mastered at Tropik Zounds Recording Studio.
Alcina’s first track was recorded in 2015 immediately after Cyclone Pam. The track originally was in English but Alcina translated to Bislama as ‘Kivhan’ and coordinated the recording and performance of the song with over 30 local artists as a tribute to raise funds for 2015 Cyclone Pam victims.
“I dedicated ‘Kivhan’ [track five] to my very hard working Vanuatu Wan Voes Kivhan committee and all the musicians who have been part of Vanuatu Wan Voes Kivhan Festival and community fundraising events over the past years,” she said.
She adds, “Because track five, ‘Kivhan’ is on this album, for every CD sale a 15 per cent commission will go towards Vanuatu Wan Voes Kivhan South Pentecost Community Project 2020–21, so my customers are satisfied knowing that they are contributing to re-building South and Central Pentecost after the devastating Cyclone Harold this year.”
Alcina says, “‘Kivhan’ is an extra special track because it actually kick started the continuity of recording the album back in 2015, after recording the first two tracks ‘Yahweh Jehovah’ [track one] and ‘Champion’ [track eight] several years earlier at a different studio. So through Cyclone Pam, the crisis became an opportunity to record again.”
After recording ‘Kivhan’ in April 2015, seven other original compositions surfaced which invited a collection of music programmers and producers like Downside Productions, Keithly Kalsarap and George Iavaniu Aka Gerro to be part of the project.
Feature musicians and artists participating in the album were Stan Antas, Blake and Sema Napwatt, Rain N John, youths of Melemaat Presbyterian Church, Vanuatu Wan Voes Kivhan musicians, Alcina’s daughter Christine Charley aka C.C, Tony Atnelo, Paxton, and Darryl Tanga.
When asked why the album title track is ‘Yahweh Jehovah’, Alcina explains, “We must always give thanks to God Almighty Yahweh Jehovah for all good things he has done for us, our families, and this nation as we’re ready to celebrate our 40th Anniversary as well as look forward to the next 40 years to come.”
Alcina says, “It’s because of Yahweh Jehovah pillared in our national motto ‘Long God Yumi Stanap’ that we are able to rise above adversities such as COVID-19 and category five cyclones and we must continue to seek his refuge and proclaim his name in every walks of life”
Track two ‘Famili’ features Alcina’s daughter CC and the youths of Melemaat village.
She says, “‘Famili’ is a campaign against parental separation. I wrote this song because it pains me seeing children heart broken and abused by guardians and other family members just because mum and dad are not together to take care of them.”
Alcina says, “I hope and pray that parents quarelling or fighting, those wanting to separate or get a divorce, listen to ‘Famili’ and have a change of heart to find solutions and improve on their relationships, and start fresh for the sake of their children’s future and well being.”
‘Save our Planet’ is a powerful duet with Vanuatu reggae icon Stan Antas. The lyrics encourage everyone to practice recycling, re-using and going for renewable energy to lessen the impacts of climate change which is causing sea level rising and other major natural disasters.”
When asked which of the tracks she thinks will remain in the minds of her fans for a very long time, Alcina sayss, “Track four ‘Smile’ I feel will lure customers to buy the album especially as we’re in Yumi40 festive mode with a lot of positive messages. Smile is simple to take in, apply, smile, dance and feel good to. It will make anyone listening to the song happy and get in the festive mood.”