Papua New Guinean singer Danielle Morgan has been involved with the music industry since high school.
But it was not until after she separated from her ex-partner that she decided to take it more seriously, putting her personal journey at the centre of her work.
Danielle said she was proud “to represent women especially, on this sort of platform”.
The song Fight was a unanimous favourite with judges from nearly 200 songs submitted from 15 nations.
The Port Moresby-based artist will travel to perform at WOMADelaide in March next year as her prize.
“I take a lot of inspiration from my own journey … using it to keep pushing me forward,” said the artist and single mother, who goes by the stage name Danielle.
“There were so many times when I just thought ‘what’s the point in doing this’ because I kept hitting roadblocks and getting a lot of criticism because I’m a mum and I’m a big girl.”
Danielle’s most recent song, Fight, is a powerful track about the people of Indonesia’s Papua region fighting for freedom. She decided to enter it into Pacific Break, an ABC music competition for unsigned artists across the region. Danielle had tears streaming down her face as she made history becoming the first female winner in the competition’s history.
“It means so much to me because it has been a really hard road.
“It kind of solidifies why I kept pushing, even though sometimes I really wanted to give up on the music.
“To be able to represent women especially, on this sort of platform, that’s an achievement.
“Especially considering how hard it can be for women in PNG and the Pacific, with a lot of cultural stuff and all of that. So yeah, it’s a real big achievement.
“You have sung the life of a thousand women and girls in PNG,” said one user.
“Thanks to you to put PNG women’s standard of music to the next level. Much love, you are truly blessed no matter what.” Danielle submitted two songs to Pacific Break 2022 — Fight, and Let Me Love You — both of which were highly commended by the judges for their warmth and depth.
The judging panel featured leading Pacific and international music experts including artist manager and producer Kera Whewell and WOMADelaide associate director Annette Tripodi.
“Danielle’s vocal tone, experience, and presence on stage, depth of repertoire, warmth and charisma, as well as her proud links to her cultural heritage and her courage representing Pacific women in music make her a stand-out winner for this year’s competition,” Ms Whewell said.
“Danielle’s authenticity and heartfelt truth-telling is so powerful, and I know she is going to be very well received by the fans at WOMADelaide,” Ms Tripodi said. Finalists for Pacific Break 2022 were InsideOut Fiji (Fiji), Yadra Mai ???? BIBAO (Solomon Islands), Blow My…
Danielle is the seventh person to claim the Pacific Break crown since the competition was launched in 2008.