Airileke is a musical pioneer and a fighter for freedom traversing a timeless sonic globe without frontiers. He is an Artistic Director, percussionist, drummer, producer, composer, activist, recording and global events facilitator and, in the words of Britain's Songlines magazine, "cause for celebration".
Born in Australia with roots in PNG Airileke grew up between the shores of both PNG and the Top End. Currently based on Jinabara country he continues to maintain the ancient songlines that run between Australia, PNG and West Papua.
As an Artistic Director he has directed some of the biggest scale events in the Pacific, curated Concert Halls, Festivals, and major events.
His Australia based production company and record label Gaba Musik
delivers world class major events, festivals, and stage productions such as Blaktivism
He has worked as Drummer and Musical Director for leading First Nations musicians including Deline Briscoe, Bart Willoughby, Emma Donovan, Barkaa, Kee'ahn, Tasman Keith, Sprigga Mek (PNG), Sorong Samarai, and members of Yothu Yindi and King Stingray.
Airileke's own compositions and productions meld progressive ideas with beats of ancient Melanesian culture. Hip-hop production, fierce log drumming, Papuan chants, atmospheric soundscapes and stories from the front line of West Papua's movement. His music sheds light on one of the region's darkest stories: the illegal occupation and ongoing oppression of West Papua.
"Fiery and innovative, this is the new sound of urban Melanesia ... a sound too urgent for the world to ignore". Rhythm Magazine
Airileke Ingram [pronounced Irie-lek-eh] grew up learning traditional drumming from his ancestral village of Gabagaba (Drumdrum) near Port Moresby, the region's ‘sing sing’ grounds for drums, dance and ceremony.
As a teenager he studied percussion and log drumming from different areas of PNG and the Pacific.
He has toured internationally with the Australian Youth Orchestra, and began blending these experiences into his first studio productions. As a touring percussionist, he has worked with Melanesian legends Drum Drum, Telek, Black Brothers, and members of Sanguma band, as well as Australian indigenous trailblazers Bart Willoughby, Yothu Yindi, and Gurrumul.
In 2006 Airileke relocated to Melbourne, to pursue his career as a Producer & Artistic Director. In 2006 he co-founded the Wantok Musik Foundation
His debut album, Weapon of Choice, dropped a bombshell on the Australasian musical frontier in 2012. The culmination of his lifelong immersion in the sounds of Melanesia, it created a new hybrid music community between Australia and the Pacific, acknowledged by an ARIA Awards nomination and a Top 10 accolade in the UK’s Songlines magazine.
In 2015 Airileke was Co-Artistic Director and Composer for the epic arena spectacle the “PNG 2015 Pacific Games Opening”. The show was an Olympic scale event, viewed by over 10 million viewers across the globe. The Opening Ceremony set a new bench mark in cultural performance in the Pacific, involving over 6000 performers from every province of Papua New Guinea, school students, and international athletes and performers. Airileke's PNG based’s company Makoda Productions produced both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
In 2017 He developed and delivered "Rebel Musik". A commissioned piece by Arts Centre Melbourne for AsiaTOPA. The work brought together 15 emerging & legendary performers from the Pacifc region. The work is now touring internationally under the name "Sorong Samarai" (checkout the live show below)
SOUNDTRACKS - FILM, TV, THEATRE, DANCE
He has been commissioned for dance company scores by Mirramu Dance Company (Australia) a production based on the "Morning Star" songlines of Arnhemland, Tracks Dance (Australia), Sama Ballet (Sri Lanka), Sunameke (Australia/Pacific), Bidiggal (Far North QLD), Brothers in Arms, Casus Circus "Aunty's Fia Fia night"
His unique palette of sounds, grooves and effects is in high demand for feature films, TV series, art house movies and documentaries as diverse as Hollywood Feature: Journey 2 Mysterious Island, SBS TV: The Straits, Kokoda, Survivor, RAN, In a Savage Land, Strange Birds in Paradise, Gone, Dolphin Guide, Byron and Bran Nue Dae.
Airileke's music is inextricably bound to his advocacy for Indigenous self- determination. In 2012, he co-founded the Rize of the Morning Star global solidarity movement and independent record label, with the intent of raising awareness about West Papua and other indigenous cultures in the region.
The organisation develops new music from West Papua and PNG as well as nurturing art and culture in service of West Papua's ongoing fight for "merdeka" — freedom. So far they have engaged more than 100 bands in 20 countries, staged events and released compilations of new songs commissioned for the cause.
NEW SINGLE OUT NOW
Latest work is PNG's #1 Hiphop artists, Sprigga Mek
's debut album. (coming in MArch 2023)
COLLABORATIONS AND SESSIONS
Sprigga Mek, (PNG), Dj Dexter (Avalanches), YothuYindi (Australia), Gurrumul (Australia), Bart Willoughby - No fixed address (Australia), Salt Water Band (Australia), Deline Briscoe (Australia), Emma Donovan (Australia), Tasman Keith (Australia), Kee'ahn (Australia), Birdz (Australia), Yilila Band (Australia), Yirrmal (Australia), Coloured Stone (Australia), Yung Warriors (Australia), Wurrumpi Band (Australia), Telek (PNG), Gulaan (New Caledonia), Jboog (USA), Street Kingdom (USA), O-shen (USA/PNG), Dadiigii (PNG), Dizz1 (Australia), Blue King Brown, Nicky Bomba (John Butler Trio), Vika and Linda (Black Sorrows), David Bridie (My Friend the Chocolate Cake / Not drowning Waving), Luciano (Jamaica), TZU (Australia), Ngaiire (PNG/Australia), Bob Brosman (USA), Lewis Pragasam (Asia Beat), Purna Das Baul (India), Danny Prasana - master percussionist (Sri Lanka), Tony Allen (Nigeria), Tribe of Jubal (PNG/Australia), Richard Mogu (PNG), Dadiigii (PNG), Paluai Sook Sook (PNG), Anslom (PNG), ProteJ (USA/PNG), Kaivili (Fiji), Andrew Lockington (USA), Guitar Trek (Australia), Topology (Australia).
Drum Drum Lahi Gabua 1997
Drum Drum 2001
Weapon of Choice 2012
Rize of the Morning Star Compilation Vol #1 2012
Rize of the Morning Star Compilation Vol #2 2016
"Sorong Samarai" 2016
"Full Freedom" (Skittles n Tea) 2017
2004 - "Sounds of Polynesia" Sample library with Native Instrument (USA) / Zero G (UK)