Zzitii & Keo
Hello my name is George Garae. My artist name is Zzitii. My brother’s name is Neville Bakeo. His artist name is Keo. We are both from Ambae Island. We are two of Vanuatu’s young artists. We would like to share a little story about ourselves.
When I was little, I lived on Ambae with my parents. I went to school there as well. At around the age of 10/11, we moved to Port Vila. When we got here, my father would take me to church at the Living Water church at Freswota. That is where I met brother Neville or Keo.
The two of us practically grew up together in the Living Water church with some other boys. We had a group of us who would do everything together. It was in this group that we started our journey into music. We would take turns learning how to play the instruments at the church. We even had someone give us vocal lessons.
My parents sent me to school at Freshwater School. I went until Year 8, but then I stopped going to school and went to take music classes at Wan Smolbag Yut Senta instead. While at the Yut Senta, I developed an interest in dance, so I started taking dance lessons. Meanwhile, Keo continued with his formal education at Lycee LAB. (He is now at Montmartre).
As the years went on, the two of us grew so close that we started regarding ourselves as brothers for real. This bond helped us to develop our musical abilities. When we turned 18, we realized that we really do have a future in music so we started treating each other as musicians. We would encourage each other and help each other to be the best that we could be. Our parents meanwhile encouraged us to create music that would give glory to God because He was the one who bestowed these talents on us.
We are now 20 years old, and have come to acknowledge that we really do want to make music that gives glory to God. We have experimented in all types of music, but at this point our convictions lie in creating music to praise God. So we are now working on some projects in that regard.
Currently, we regard ourselves as independent artists. It is not easy being a young independent artist in Vanuatu. Our culture makes people feel the need to always put us (and others) “on the right track”. We have received so much criticism regarding our music – some good and some bad.
However, now that we are following our convictions, we know that all that criticism is to help us grow as musicians. We speak truth the way we see it. If people don’t identify with our message, it’s because they see things differently, and we are okay with that.
We both write and compose our songs. When we started off, we would perform our songs to soundtracks downloaded from the Internet. Along the way, we met a manager and he kept encouraging us to create our own music. Keo had been using FL Studio to do remixes, but when we were told to create our own music, he started using FL Studio to create our backing tracks. We have also worked with other producers like DJ Ghosty Saah and DJ ADW. I also incorporate dance into my videos and live performances, because I feel that dance is part of my identity as an artist.
We produce our music under the label SEKAV Productions – which is an initiative we started with our brothers growing up in the church at Living Water. Taet TV has played a major role in managing and promoting our music on social media platforms. People have come to know us and appreciate our music through SEKAV and Taet TV, and we praise God for that.
It is our hope and prayer that Yumi Muzik Association (YMA) will be able to help us to distribute our music further – especially outside of social media platforms – and also to assist us in selling our music.