MELBOURNE-Cook Islander Jaik Berg is this year's winner of Radio Australia's Pacific Break 2012 with his standout song My Oh My.
Competition was fierce with many outstanding entries as diverse and exciting as the Pacific Island nations they came from. However, it was ultimately Berg's soulful voice, catchy tune, and laidback vibe that managed to receive the judge's unified agreement as this year's best.
Other highly rated entries included Vanuatu's Benny & the Gang with their island reggae song Political System, the socially aware hip hop track Never Give Up by Bwenaman from Kiribati and Fiji's Jordeena Punja with her soulful ballad Insecurities.
The judging panel for Pacific Break 2012 “remastered” included Damon Hughes from Triple J Unearthed, Basil Cook from ABC Music, Melbourne-based musician Airi Ingram, Jess Moretti from the Australasian World Music Expo and Namila Benson, Melbourne based TV/radio presenter and Pacific music identity “Sista Selekta.”
“Jaik Berg's track My Oh My just showcased such raw talent in both voice and musicianship we couldn't go past it. It caught everyone's ears from the first moment,” said Hughes.
“This is great for Cook Islands music and it's great for Jaik.Your music is going to go places,” said local Pacific Break partner George “G-Dub” Williams who encouraged Berg to submit his entry in this year's competition.
“I'll contribute my best.and definitely try and open up and take everything way further,” said Berg after learning he was chosen as this year's Pacific Break winner.
Selected ahead of approximately 100 entries from across the Pacific, the next step in the journey for this 18-year-old solo artist from the Cook Islands will be flying to Australia for a recording session at the ABC studios and to attend the Australasian World Music Expo in Melbourne.
While the experience is just beginning for Berg, a selection of this year's entries will be included on the Pacific Break 2012 compilation CD, which will be released in early 2013.
Listen to all the Pacific Break 2012 songs: www.radioaustralia.net.au/pacificbreak.