Natty Dolaiasi – Cultural Warrior
Natty Dolaiasi is a warrior of traditional tribal songs of the Solomon Islands, the bearer of deep cultural knowledge and rare mystic chants. Since 1995 Natty has represented the Solomon Islands at International Festivals, Film documentaries, recordings and performances. He has represented the Solomon Islands at peak international festivals in the Pacific such as the Melanesian Festival of Arts, South Pacific Festival of Arts, Pan Pipe Festival and in Australia at Island Vibe Festival, Quandamooka Festival, Festuri Festival, Byron Harmony Festival, Macfest and others as well as cultural projects such as Jalu Kunjeil, Solomon Islands Musician in Residence, BESTY Youth project, tours of Queensland, Melbourne and the East Coast. He has also featured in the most significant Pacific Islands films and recordings of our times such as Siva Pacifica and “Last Voices from Heaven”, as well as national awareness campaigns such as IUMI TUGEDA and others.
From 2018-2023 Natty Dolaiasi has been regularly touring overseas including a number of major tours of Australia, which has greatly enhanced and promoted awareness of Solomon Islands culture, music and arts in both countries. His international tours have also taken him to New Zealand, Taiwan, the Pacific on the Japanese Peace Boat.
Solomon Airlines Support Made it all Possible
Since 2018 until 2023, Natty Dolaiasi’s overseas tours have been possible with wonderful support from Solomon Airlines which enabled Natty to undertake many Solomon Islands projects heading to Australia.
As a result of these projects the Solomon Islands culture was shared with many thousands of audience members. People of all ages and backgrounds from school children and teenagers, to adults across Australia and other countries.
Natty Dolaiasi’s cultural tours constantly acknowledged the support of Solomons Airlines and highlighted the importance of Solomon culture and tourism to many thousands of Australian live audiences as well as radio listeners across the country.
Natty Dolaiasi’s involvement in touring and presenting Solomon Islands culture in Australia during 2023 provided a massive boost to the international reputation of the Solomon Islands and its cultures. Many thanks to Solomon Airlines for again supporting Natty Dolaiasi’s international touring program 2023.
Wantok Festival January 2023
Natty Dolaiasi’s year started with a great success! Assisted by his Australian manager Colours of the World Tours, Natty was invited to participate as a performer and cultural leader as part of the Wantok Musik Festival held in Honiara in January 2023. This event was a joint project between the Australian High Commission and Australia-based recording company Wantok Musik. This event was a huge success and generated a lot of friendship and connections between the Solomon Islands and Australia.
Natty Dolaiasi onstage at Wantok Festival Honiara January 2023 (below)
Natty Dolaiasi was MC of Wantok Festival 2023, onstage throughout the whole event, as well as performing as a solo artist and in collaboration with Dream Cast Theatre, David Bridie, Charles Maimarosia, Australian indigenous artist Tjuppuru and others. During the Festival, Natty’s support for Wantok Founder and Artistic Director, David Bridie was met with immediate respect and appreciation, and an invitation to record with Wantok recording company.
As part of this series of Australia-Solomon Islands events, Natty was then invited to perform at the Australia Day celebrations on 26 January at the Australian High Commissioner’s Residence.
Natty Dolaiasi “Voice of the Solomon Islands” Aust Tour March-May 2023
Sponsored by Solomon Airlines and managed by Colours of the World Tours, Natty Dolaiasi was invited to return to Australia in March 2023 to continue his international touring program and promotion of Solomon Islands culture in Australia.
During March to May 2023, Natty toured many venues, events and festivals in Australia across four states, stretching from Melbourne, Victoria in the south as far as Rockhampton in Northern Queensland. Natty also visited the renowned WOMAD Festival in Adelaide, South Australia in order to network with fellow World music musicians including Pacific Islands project Small Island Big Song.
Natty Dolaiasi Touring Victoria
March 11-21 is Cultural Diversity Week in Victoria, so Natty was invited by highly acclaimed Australian touring organization Cultural Infusion (culturalinfusion.org.au) to undertake a wonderful series of Solomon Islands music performances at schools and venues across Melbourne and also in Sydney.
Throughout the tour, Natty was supported on the ground by collaborations with local Solomon Islands musicians, Australian musicians and music organizations. Fellow Malaitan musician, Jimmi Nare from Namrock Studio, Melbourne rehearsed and performed with Natty on many occasions and provided support throughout the whole tour, including an incredible performance at Bar Oussou in Brunswick, at the invitation of Australian singer-songwriter Anna Smyrk.
Performance at Bar Oussou Brunswick Victoria: Natty Dolaiasi, Jimmy Nare, Anna Smyrk and Joe MacDonald.
Performances in Dandenong for Harmony Day with Cultural Infusion
Throughout Natty Dolaiasi’s tour around Australia he encountered many numbers of Solomon Islands seasonal workers located in various towns and cities across the country, including Solomon Islands artists, musicians and dancers, (some of them from Dream Cast Theatre) who at times also participated in his performances. Through Natty’s performances and talks he was able to give support and pastoral care to many seasonal workers reminding them of home, connecting them to their traditional cultures and providing direct care, advice and support. It was exciting for them to enjoy his performances, being a well-known artist and Solomon Islands celebrity.
Castlemaine in rural Victoria is a location for Solomon Islands seasonal workers employed by the local Dom Smallgoods Factory. Natty Dolaiasi’s concert at the Castlemaine Northern Arts Hotel with a group of 5 Solomon Islands musicians was well-received and attended by Solomons seasonal workers.
The Concert was held as part of the World Music Series at the Hotel organized by local radio personality Peter Dawson. The Program was headlined by Natty Dolaiasi with fellow SI musicians Charles Maimarosia, Jimmi Nare, Jerome Warakea and Trudy Fatnowna. Natty also experienced support from the Solomon Islands Victoria Association who invited him to perform at their AGM.
Natty Dolaiasi’s finale concert in Victoria was on 28 April, held at the longest standing world music organization in Victoria called The Boite, founded in 1979 (www.boite.com.au).
The concert was held at the incredible venue the Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne with Natty Dolaiasi headlining with Charles Maimarosia, Jimmi Nare and Australian master percussionist Ron Reeves. The enthusiastic audience gave the Solomon Islands artists enormous support including a standing ovation at the finale of the show.
Natty Dolaiasi Touring New South Wales
One of the highlights of Natty Dolaiasi’s New South Wales tour was the collaborative project with Master percussionist Greg Sheehan in the town of Bellingen. Greg and Natty have known each other as leaders of the Ethno Solomons for several years. The tour created the opportunity for an intensive collaboration, creation of new music and presentation of an extraordinary concert held at the popular venue 5 Church Street Bellingen.
While touring NSW, as a result of previous youth projects, Natty was again invited to present a workshops series at Byron Youth Service in April 2023. Natty shared Solomon Islands stories, drumming, singing and dance with young people as part of the Byron Youth Holiday program.
Headlining at Byron Harmony Festival 2023 at International Tourist Destination Byron Bay
Natty Dolaiasi’s return to Australia was planned to coincide with the foremost multicultural festival of the Northern Rivers Region – Byron Harmony Festival 2023.
This festival has been held regularly in Byron Shire for 15 years and represents the largest festival of its kind in the NSW North Coast Region. With over 100 performers onstage for the festival plus a live broadcast on radio station BayFM 99.9. The Byron Harmony Festival aims to represent all world cultures – Natty Dolaiasi was the special international guest of the festival representing the Solomon Islands!
Solomon Islands culture has been virtually unknown in Byron Shire up until Natty began touring to Byron from 2018 to 2023, so his participation in the Byron Harmony Festival has been a great opportunity to introduce Solomons culture by inviting Natty Dolaiasi onstage to impress the audience with his beautiful traditional songs!
For the Festival, Natty presented the Melanesian Melodies singing workshop, as well as a traditional Solomon Islands welcome to the Festival plus a collaborative performance with local young artist Kai-Fi at the finale of the Byron Harmony Festival.
Natty’s Collaboration with Kai-Fi Continues in 2023
During 2019-20, Natty Dolaiasi undertook a major youth touring project in Australia which involved sharing Solomon Islands culture at schools and youth groups throughout Northern NSW. During this project Natty also started working with local Solomon Islands youth – teaching them their own traditional cultures to connect with their cultural roots. One of the young Solomons artists Natty mentored was a young musician called Kai-Fi. Kai Walton is an electronic artist/producer who is passionate about connecting with his original Solomons culture.
As a result of this collaboration, Kai-Fi was accepted into the QUBE Effect Program in Brisbane, Queensland. This project included the production of a music video and Kai-Fi selected the track which was his collaboration with Natty. Natty had recorded traditional chants and drumming with Kai-Fi while in Mullumbimby.
The QUBE Effect Awards took place in June 2021 with Kai-Fi performing live at the Opening performance held at the major venue Powerhouse Art Centre in Brisbane, this included the music video with Natty Dolaiasi, videoed in the Solomon Islands. Kai-Fi was then invited to present his music at the Olympic ceremony in Brisbane River Stage-a huge honour for a young artist.
Natty and Kai-Fi continued their collaboration during 2022 and 2023 and during the finale of the Byron Harmony Festival in Byron Bay in May 2023, Natty and Kai-Fi performed some of their collaborative music together onstage for the first time.
Natty Dolaiasi and Kai-Fi collaboration project.
Natty Dolaiasi’s tours during the past 5 years have proven to be an enormous success in every way and future tours will continue to be of very significant benefit to the international reputation of the Solomon Islands on the world stage.
While on tour Natty Dolaiasi has collaborated and performed with many very highly regarded artists such as Greg Sheehan, Anna Smyrk, Charles Maimarosia, Ron Reeves, Jimmi Nare, Kai -Fi, Shivam Rath, Jonny Simons and more as well as many cultural organizations and festivals – and was also successful in creating many more ongoing connections and networks in line for the next leg of his Australia Tours in 2024 and beyond.
While on tour, Natty Dolaiasi has already commenced work as a recording artist with Wantok Musik, Melbourne and Natty is planning to return to Australia to continue this project in the near future. He has also been offered a position as one of the Artistic Directors of the Ethno Australia Music Camp 2024, as well as connecting with festivals and such as Cresfest Victoria 2024 and Byron Harmony Festival 2024.
Natty Dolaiasi onstage in Rockhamption, Queensland Natty Dolaiasi onstage with David Bridie at Wantok Festival Honiara
Event Poster featuring Solomon Islands logo Byron Shire Echo Article featuring Natty Dolaias