Young Life Vanuatu

  • When: 8th Mar 1:45pm
  • Where: Summer City Mainstreet Stage
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Formed in 2008 by its charismatic front man Arno Rox, it has become one of the most popular live acts in Melanesia, and  has played alongside many top international artists such as Julian Marley, Grams Morgan, Capelton, Sauti Sol, De Bruces A Mi, the Red Eyes and more. The group has toured extensively throughout the Melanesia Region, and as far as Kenya,  Africa, which it visited in 2011 after winning the “Fair Play international anti corruption music competition”.

Based in Port Vila Vanuatu, the band has its roots in the youth culture of Vanuatu, often singing about the trials that beset the increasingly urbanised population of young people who are living in the shantytowns around the capital.

The urban slums in which they have their homes are a long way removed from the somewhat idyllic existence that their ancestors had enjoyed for millennia before colonisation and modernisation drove them into an urban environment. Poverty, poor health, unemployment, violence and corruption are now a constant presence in the daily lives of these youth, but despite this, they manage to maintain a happiness and vibrancy that has led to Vanuatu being named “the happiest place on earth” for many years.

Despite most of the members of the band having a limited education, being unable to read or write, being unemployed and owning no musical instruments, they have evolved from an amateur village group into a major reggae powerhouse. Much of this change is due to the help and guidance of a large local youth centre and theatre, Wan Smolbag, which provides a practice space and instruments for them and many other  local bands and musicians.

Now, 6 years after first forming, the Younglife Band has become a popular, colourful and electric live act which has consistently wowed audiences with their unique blend of authentic island/afro reggae, custom rhythm, and huge on stage energy.

Members of the Younglife band  are also regular practitioners of traditional Malekula Custom Dance, something which is seen very rarely outside of Vanuatu, and has been used for hundreds of years in the telling of custom stories and tribal law.

Recent engagements for the band have included:

  • November 2014- Malampa assn. Concert,  Lifou, New Caledonia
  • Sept 2014- Fest Napuan, Port Vila, Vanuatu
  • June 2014- Tour to Tanna, Tafea, Vanuatu
  • 2013- Free West Papua Concert, Noumea, New Caledonia
  • 2013- Show with Julian Marley, Morgan Heritage, Capleton, Noumea, New Caledonia

"...they manage to maintain a happiness and vibrancy that has led to Vanuatu being named "the happiest place on earth" for many years.."