Hip-hop and reggae artist Peni Tupou Roqara, known as Ju Ben, is the winner of this year’s ABC Pacific Break competition. His music infuses contemporary musical genres with traditional storytelling and his lyrics, delivered in iTaukei language, cover social issues including mental health and politics. Ju Ben’s winning song, Sema Mai aims to inspire young people to overcome life’s challenges by staying positive. Hailing from Lomainasau, in Tailevu Province, Ju Ben has been writing poetry since high school, when his cousin introduced him to hip-hop. He cites ‘old school rappers’ such as Tupac and Redman as his musical influences and has revolutionised the use of iTaukei language in Fijian rap music. Ju Ben is also part of the VT1S, a Fijian music collective and movement, and he performs regularly in the local music scene.