In this collaborative series between Rolling Stone AU/NZ and NZ On Air, we get to know the lives and music of some local Aotearoa artists.
Enjalas Jenkinson was always going to make the most of life in New Zealand. Having come here with his mother from his home of Papua New Guinea to seek malaria treatment, he’s someone keenly aware of how precious our time on earth is.
Since releasing his confident debut single as Vallé, “Love Me”, in 2018, he’s spent the subsequent five years honing his stirring blend of hip hop and R&B to create a sound that’s melodic, hip, and emotive.
“I’m just trying to tell the story that belongs to the music… life’s just this big memory bank, I can draw upon all these experiences. Because I’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot of interesting ones!” he recently told NZ On Air about his music.
Vallé’s hard work has been paying off: several singles have featured on Apple’s Music 1 Radio; he’s been nominated for Best Pacific Music Video at the Pacific Music Awards; he has stellar co-writes to his name, including “Trouble Finds a Girl” with Jenny Mitchell, which ended up a finalist at the NZ Country Music Awards.
But for all the acclaim he’s found in Aotearoa, he’s never forgotten where he came from. “I took it upon my shoulders, as an individual and a member of my PNG (Papua New Guinea) community, to play a role in helping our country participate in the world,” he explained.
Vallé’s now set to continue doing that on a new EP, which is currently being prepared, but if the quality of his previous release, last year’s Caged Birds, is anything to go by, it should make for a fascinating listen.
You can watch Vallé’s full NZ On Air interview above.