Vallé on his rise from poverty and malaria to making music

Rapper Enjalas Jenkinson - better known by his stage name, Vallé - recorded his first song when he was just 13. 

Since then, he's opened for acts such as Jess B, Smashproof and Unchained XL - but it hasn't been an easy journey.

Born in Papua New Guinea and raised in Christchurch, rapper Enjalas Jenkinson has found his rhythm under new name Vallé. It's a combination of the most influential figures in his life - Irish singer and songwriter Van Morrison, and former US basketball star Allen Iverson.

Jenkinson spent the first few months of his life in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, where he contracted malaria and rickets.

Born into a broken family, Vallé moved to New Zealand with his father for life-saving medical treatment when he was just eight months old. With a difficult start to life, music helped shape his identity from an early age. 

"However he raised me isn't necessarily his fault, so to speak. He was raised a certain way, so he did or didn't have it as good - so the cycle continues," he said.

Music "started off as my only friend, an outlet, a form of expression," he said. Escaping sickness and poverty was only the first hurdle, followed by his father's battle with alcoholism.

His song 'Love Me' has helped him process the past, forgive his parents, and move forward into his future.

"There always will be times in every person's life, especially my own, that music is therapy 100 percent - but then there's time where I'm willing out and having fun," he said. 

This is Vallé's first song to be released ahead of his album early next year - and with the help of his producer Struan Finlay, he's confident it's some of his best work yet. 

"New Zealanders will be surprised that these types of people are here in their backyard," he said. 

Vallé is an artist to watch - a rough diamond who is undoubtedly a star in the making.