Pacific artist soars to the top of the world

Spend a bit of time on TikTok and the chances are you will pretty quickly come across someone dancing to the iconic track “Iko Iko” performed by Pacific music star Justin Wellington, aka ‘JW’.

While Pacific radio stations have been playing JW hits for over a decade, and “Iko Iko” was released in 2017, in recent months the world has caught on, making it one of the songs of the northern hemisphere summer.

“The most prolific by far of all my releases and projects has been “Iko Iko”, ” JW told Islands Business. “It became a globally viral song, it snowballed and went crazy as a TikTok dance craze.”

A cover of a Creole song, from New Orleans, Louisiana, “Iko Iko” has been performed and recorded in many incarnations. “The version that I came to be familiar with first was from the movie soundtrack of Rain Man and was created by the Belle Stars,” says JW. “I absolutely loved that version from when I was a kid and bang – it was instantly ingrained as a favourite song, melody and rhythm.”

“There is a consistent underlying spirit and magic of that song “Iko Iko” that exists in all the versions and that’s why I wanted to do my own interpretation of that song.”

Born and raised in PNG, JW’s love of music started at home.

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