NGAIIRE has captured my attention. Her latest track, ‘Closer’ is gorgeous and I am officially swooning for this marvelous R&B vibe she has created here.
She thoroughly explains everything about this song and I hope you read every word because…wow!
“This is my sweaty 80’s summer love song. It’s the ‘I want you, I’ll drop everything including these panties for you whenever you’re near so don’t come here, WAIT come here – NO DON’T’ song. It really is about how I observed love, sex and dating as a girl growing up in Papua New Guinea – that desperation of lust and love that grows out of your secret fantasies for another and that silent after thought of whether it’s wise to fall that hard because it might be short lived. Over the years my siblings and I had a lot of young Aunties who’d move in with us as live-in Nannies as both my parents tried to maintain their careers. As a kid normally dating and sex is that naughty thing you shouldn’t know about so our ears were always ready to eavesdrop on forbidden phone conversations to their lovers while they were supposed to be babysitting us. PNG considers itself a Christian nation post years of mission work from Western missionary societies starting as early as the 1800s. Missionaries destroyed and discouraged a lot of existing PNG social structures. Cultural dress, hairstyles, agriculture, gender roles and our relationship to sex were challenged The whole ‘no sex before marriage’ rule is upheld quite highly and really played out in all kinds of interesting but mostly negative ways. It was a blanket rule with no room for error. Courting wasn’t really allowed – you just got married. You didn’t go out on dates. PDAs were a no no – god forbid you held hands or called each other ‘baby’. If people found out you were having sex on the DL outside of marriage you were shamed, excommunicated, ridiculed, probably called the equivalent of a whore, or in some cases would be beaten – at least from what I had seen with my Aunties. As a result there were (and still are) a lot of pent up sexual tension felt by a lot of young people who are so hungry for sex and romance that when they finally got it, the fall into disorientating love and lust meant they didn’t even know which was which because they were so hot and on fire. And it’s all a rush – the sneaking around, the late night phone calls when everyone’s asleep. And there’s the other side. The high rates of STDs and the unplanned pregnancies because you weren’t allowed to talk about safe sex because you just SHOULDN’T have it or even utter the word sex. Relationships get found out and ended by your parents or those who hold an authoritative role in your family. The number of times I’d seen my Aunties crying for days into their pillows wilting away from loss of appetite because their relationships had been discontinued by someone else. It was a little different when I started junior high as I went to an International school that didn’t condemn dating so much. We had kids from all over the world in our classrooms who had been brought up differently to most Papua New Guineans in my school which made it a little more acceptable. That said, sex and dating was still always something you didn’t parade to anyone. That level of unbridled want for someone coupled with religious guilt, heartbreak and the human need to have love reciprocated was a mean cocktail of emotions that I came to know quite well, even as a spectator.” – NGAIIRE