Star Spot with Anslom, the Winner of the InterContinental Music Awards’ ICon Award, Reggae Musician from Papua New Guinea

Exploring Anslom’s Reggae Music Voyage: From Papua New Guinea to Collaborations with Big Mountain, Don Carlos, and Shaggy

Welcome to this episode of Star Spot! I’m Merry, and in this series, I interview InterContinental Music Awards winners and insiders, bringing you exclusive insights into the music industry. Today, I’m thrilled to have with me Anslom.

Step into the soulful music of Anslom, a Papua New Guinean international Reggae artist whose musical journey transcends borders and resonates with the beats of social justice, peace, and unity. Born Ronald Nakikus and raised in the vibrant landscapes of Rabaul, East New Britain province, Anslom embarked on his musical odyssey in the mid-1990s, weaving together the rich tapestry of Reggae and Rastafarian culture.

Let’s dive right into the interview summary and tap into Anslom’s knowledge and experience. The full interview is available on Instagram – click here to check it out.


Can you provide a brief biography to help our audience get to know you better?

My artist name is Anslom and my real name is Ronald Nakikus. I hail from Papua New Guinea, a country in the Pacific, just north of Australia. I belong to the Melanesian ethnic group, which includes regions like the Solomon Islands, Fiji, and Vanuatu. As a reggae artist, I am passionate about using music as a medium to convey messages of hope, peace, and unity. I strongly advocate against violence, particularly violence against women, and strive to contribute to making the world a better place through my art.

Who has been the biggest musical influence for you?

For me, Phil Collins and Bon Jovi hold a special place in my heart. In the reggae sphere, legends like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and the late Lucky Dube have been significant influences on my musical journey. I grew up in the ’80s and early ’90s, a time that shaped my perspective and contributed to the kind of artist I am today. Each of these influences has played a role in molding me and my approach to music.

How did your music journey begin? Take us from the very first time you knew this is what you wanted to do.

My musical journey traces back to my upbringing in Rabaul, where music was an integral part of my family. We were passionate about singing in the choir at church. As I progressed through university, where I earned a degree in Political Science, my love for music remained a constant. Despite pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, my heart was set on music—it was my passion, something I lived and breathed.

Initially, I immersed myself in local music in Papua New Guinea. However, I soon realized the desire to explore beyond familiar territories. Back home, opportunities were limited, and the music scene lacked the infrastructure to support artists. Live gigs provided income, but it wasn’t a consistent revenue stream. Determined to face new challenges and break into the international music scene, I set my sights on overseas ventures.

Recognizing the global appeal of reggae music, particularly in regions like the West Indies, I saw the potential to build a career abroad. Fast forward to today, I find myself in the U.S., working on a massive album with collaborations featuring renowned artists like Big Mountain, Don Carlos, and even Shaggy. My team, including my manager and booking strategist, has played a crucial role in this journey. I am focused on the future, with no intention of looking back, and the recent recognition at the InterContinental Music Awards is a tremendous boost to my career. I’m grateful for the opportunity and excited about what lies ahead.

How far along with the album are you right now, and is there a release date in mind?

We’re making great progress with the album, and we’re planning to release it early next year. It’s an exciting time, especially with a lineup of shows lined up, starting with the first one in April in the States. The tour will cover the entire year, featuring performances at massive reggae festivals across America, the Caribbean, and South America. But before hitting the stage, the priority is getting the album out there. The music has to be top-notch—it needs to sell, and people have to love it. I’m confident you’ll enjoy the music; it’s going to be fantastic. I’ve been pouring my heart and soul into this project, working tirelessly, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone.

How do you manage your busy schedule, especially with studio sessions and upcoming shows?

It’s a juggling act, no doubt. I’m in the studio practically every day, fine-tuning the tracks and ensuring everything aligns with the vision for the album. Balancing that with preparation for upcoming shows requires meticulous planning. We’ve got a team working together to make it all happen seamlessly. I appreciate the understanding of everyone trying to get in touch, especially considering the challenges with time differences. It gets quite busy, but it’s all in the name of creating music and delivering memorable performances.

Can you tell us a bit about the creative process behind making your music?

Certainly! The creative process for me begins with introspection and self-expression. As a songwriter, everything starts with my own creativity—the way I perceive the world and translate those experiences into music. It’s about finding that initial spark that sets the creative journey in motion. When the foundation is strong, and the songs resonate, it not only appeals to listeners but also attracts fellow artists interested in collaboration.

Networking is another crucial aspect of the creative process. Building fruitful relationships along the way opens up opportunities and enhances the collaborative nature of the music industry. In this regard, being a part of the InterContinental Music Awards has played a significant role in advancing my career. I’m proud to be associated with the awards and the community, and I look forward to more fruitful collaborations and experiences in the future. I’m here for you, anytime.

How did you hear about the InterContinental Music Awards?

It was actually my manager who brought the InterContinental Music Awards (ICMA) to my attention. The recognition from ICMA is a significant milestone, especially for artists like me coming from Papua New Guinea. In the United States, it’s a big deal—it’s the recognition of intellectual property in a country with a massive music industry. This acknowledgment serves as a boost and encourages me to keep working hard, assuring me that I’m on the right track. I feel honored and privileged to be a part of this prestigious platform. It’s truly a remarkable experience.

How would you describe your experience with the InterContinental Music Awards, and what was your takeaway?

My experience with the InterContinental Music Awards has been nothing short of wonderful. The concept and idea behind these awards extend far beyond the borders of the United States. It’s a global initiative that acknowledges the struggles of artists worldwide. What I appreciate most is that ICMA doesn’t just stop at recognizing the artists; it provides a ray of hope, a burst of sunshine, and showcases what independent artists can achieve through perseverance and commitment to their passion.

As an independent artist, being part of ICMA has shown me the possibilities that lie ahead if we continue to persevere in what we love. The commitment of the ICMA team to uplift artists globally is truly amazing, and I’m grateful for the recognition and support they provide. It’s an inspiring journey, and I commend ICMA for their outstanding contribution to the music industry. Thank you so much for this incredible opportunity.

As an independent artist, what are some of the challenges you’ve faced in your career?

One of the significant challenges I’ve encountered throughout my career, especially in my home country, is the absence of a robust copyright society. This lack of infrastructure makes it challenging for artists like me to have our intellectual property properly compensated. The absence of an intellectual property organization means that the government doesn’t fully understand the intricacies of the music industry, leaving our creativity unaddressed.

The biggest hurdle is the limited opportunities within the country. This circumstance led me to seek opportunities overseas. I faced hardships, including recording in Johannesburg and navigating the industry complexities. However, the recent recognition from awards like ICMA has opened doors, connecting me with influential figures in the U.S. music industry. The struggle persists, but progress is undeniable.

Essentially, the core struggle lies in a country that doesn’t prioritize the music industry. The lack of opportunities necessitates relentless effort. It’s a constant battle, but my passion fuels my determination. Working twice as hard becomes a necessity, and though challenging, it’s all worth it in the pursuit of a career doing what I love and earning a living from it. Passion keeps me going, and I’m committed to making my dreams a reality.

What’s the best advice you’ve received throughout your career?

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received is to keep doing what I love, as long as my goals are realistically achievable. It’s crucial not to be disillusioned along the way. This advice emphasizes the importance of persistence and staying true to one’s passion. Some individuals may face challenges, like not having a strong voice, yet persist in pursuing their musical aspirations. The key is to align your goals with reality and not lose sight of what is achievable.

Any last words you’d like to share with your fans and our viewers?

I want to express my gratitude and love to all my fans for their incredible support. The big reveal is on the horizon, set for next year, and it’s going to be massive. I appreciate everyone who has been part of this journey, and I can’t wait to share the exciting things coming up. Thank you all so much!

Anslom Contact Info:

Click here to watch Anslom ‘s  full interview on Instagram 

InterContinental Music Awards Team

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