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Betaia Nehemiah

Composer, Moana Pacific Composer

Born: 1974


Betaia is composer from the Republic of Kiribati. Born on Beru, an island within the Kiribati realm, Betaia’s family migrated to the nation of Nauru where they resided for just under 10 years – it was also the place young Betaia saw a video cassette of a young Michael Jackson singing, dancing, and doing just about what the late King of Pop is known to have gifted the world. “In my home country, Kiribati, my family and I lived in a small village called Buota, where my dad was teaching at Aratokotoko Primary School. I remember my Dad had possession of a guitar and he would always sing to me and two of my older sisters in our mosquito net before we head to bed. The title of the song was "My Father is a Drunkard, My Mother is Dead." This song was consistently echoing in my head at the age of 5. I would always get so emotional at any time the song played on the radio.” After seeing and hearing such musical display, young Betaia was sure that music was to be a part of his life forever.

A few bands and roadie years later, Betaia amassed a collection of compositions for himself, and mostly for other Kiribati artists.

Motu/island nation affiliations:
Beru (Republic of Kiribati)