Sambra Aikit
Maintaining PNG’s unique sound

In the era where PNG’s struggling music industry is greatly influenced by other genres, Sambra Aikit is one band that is trying to maintain a sound unique to PNG.

Following in the step of pioneer bands like Sanguma and the Tambaran Culture, this group holds fast to traditional contemporary chants.

According to leader Sterling Numba, traditional songs/chants from all over PNG were adopted and given a modern feel to them.

“All we did was add modern instruments and arranged it. Lyrics and tune were not edited. It is as it was sung in the past,” he said.

This is music from generations before, passed down, and considered the identity of PNG.

“We’ve got to maintain what our forefathers created,” said Numba.

Sambra Aikit comprises of music students from the University of PNG, particularly graduates of 2012/13.

Hence, Leeroy Walter Murray, a member, says it is an obligation to educate the masses on this type of music.

“We need to impart again what we’ve learnt. It’s no use coming to study this type of music and then make music everybody else is doing,” he said.

In his words, Murray describes this contemporary music style as a primordial genre.

“Although unpopular, it’s ineluctable. It can’t be evaded or avoided. And it’s here to stay,” he said.

Numba added that the group appreciates other type of music too “but we prefer sticking to our specific type of sound”.

With almost 12 members or so, Sambra Aikit has had a challenging journey over the years in order to preserve and promote PNG through music.

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