The track ‘Dangerous’ … a video clip about climate change highlights second anniversary of Tropical Cyclone Pam next week. Video: DropVkal Family
DropVkal Family, a local ni-Vanuatu band made up of unemployed male youth living in the same neighborhood, is making its mark in the music and social activism scene.
They play mainly acoustic reggae, rock and roots music.
Their vision is for the group to promote local vernacular languages and be an alternative to mainstream full-set band reggae popular among youth groups in Port Vila and throughout Vanuatu.
DropVkal Family has been performing at bars and restaurants around Port Vila. They play regularly at Coconut Palms Resort on Saturday nights and Anchor Inn on Sundays.
“We’re a group of friends from different islands of Vanuatu that have come together because of our love of music, and our interest in contributing to the development of Vanuatu and its special local culture,” says musician Carlos Noronha.
“The band is evolving and is inclusive. It is a product of the merging of the bands DropVcull Groove and Family Roots.”
The name DropVkal resembles the word Tropical, the climate associated with Vanuatu. But DropVkal has a deeper meaning comprising three themes:
Drop – “Tears of the pain suffered by our ancestors who were kidnapped or tricked into leaving home to work as indentured labourers on plantations in Australia. This practice, called Blackbirding, is a terrible chapter in Vanuatu’s past.”
V – “Vision, the Future, with a focus on Actions to build a better society. DropVkal Family wants to share ideas through our songs, which are ready to record, about violence against women and girls, corruption, appreciation of the environment and nature of Vanuatu and West Papua. We are always thinking about what will be our next project? How can we use our music for positive social change?”
Kal – “Culture. We aim to incorporate local instruments, especially the bamboo flute, in all of our original songs. This symbolises the respect and admiration that we have for Vanuatu’s indigenous culture.”
The group has supported several fundraising initiatives – such as in Port Vila Central Market to enable the purchase of 17 water tanks to send outer islands of Vanuatu to help communities suffering the effects of the climate change phenomenon El Niño in 2015.