Music

Backtracks: Prasad’s passion for religious songs

Patrick Prasad’s love for music started at a very young age. Prasad, reputed to be one of Fiji’s most prominent bhajan singers, says his thirst for spiritual knowledge and traditional music has led him a long way. “I first started singing kirtan when I was in Year 6 in my village mandali, and at that...

Backtracks: Song of ancestral gods, gold deposits

The song Lolo Mai Naua composed by Eminoni Qarailawaki, manager of village music group Seniboro Junior, relives the life of their ancestral god, Ratu Vunibula – the eight-headed snake – and the villagers of Sawanikula in the district of Muaira, Naitasiri. Passed down through the generations, Qarailawaki composed a song about the legend in 2011 while singing for another group, Drodrolagi kei Delainava. For...

BACKTRACKS: A family affair

If you follow The Fiji Times Facebook page, and were scrolling through your newsfeed on New Year’s Day, you would have come across a video of a family band playing at Namadi, in Suva. They were the Kaloucava Family Band, made up of Taione Kaloucava, his daughters Leba and Jan, his brother Alden Kaloucava, niece Maria, and his friend Atu Luvena. They formed their little band during...

BackTracks: The dynamic couple

Live music, there’s just something about it. The way the volume and timbre of the raw sounds of the instruments stir feelings within and bring out that urge to jive and swing out across the dance floor. The people who make their living using their God given talents to share the gift of song with those who would listen, whether it be...

Royalties for Fijian musos

The Fiji Performing Rights Association (FIPRA) received royalties of $200,000 this year for the use of local music which will be distributed among members this month. Making the announcement, FIPRA president Eremasi Tamanisau explained they recently received a payout of more than $30,000 goodwill from two foreign organisations for the use of members’ music compositions....

Backtracks: The birth of Waikoula kei Tavua

In 1974, a number of young men from Tavualevu Village joined the Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF) and got into singing church hymns. They fell in love with how the different voices, when put together, formed a rich chorus of harmony and how the ensemble was able to create emotions and set the atmosphere for prayer with just the power of their voices. Choir practices and taking part in...

Enter the Dragon

Fiji’s music history could have taken a different course had Ken Janson opted to take up medicine seriously. He was well on his way to becoming a doctor and was studying medicine abroad when a visit to his homeland changed everything. Janson shed his stethoscope for a microphone and established himself as an entertainer at...

$4k guitar up for grabs at awards night

One of five finalists of the Tom Mawi Taylor Guitar competition 2021 will walk away with a brand new Taylor guitar 314CE worth more than $4000 at the awards night on December 1. Organiser Nash Fong said this was the fourth year of the guitar competition. “Usually, the award is given out in the Fiji...

Backtracks: Fiji’s first jukebox

Today, the corner of Rodwell Rd and Usher St, Suva, is home to the multi- storey shopping and office complex known as TappooCity. Wind the clock back 80 years, the site was host to a wooden building and to the Chungking Café – home of Fiji’s first jukebox – whose playlist included a song recorded by Litia Daveta. Daveta would later change...

Kuki scores exclusive gig; sings for Hollywood actress Rebel Wilson on a private cruise in Fiji

Renowned local artist Apakuki Nalawa scored an exclusive gig on Tuesday night, serenading Hollywood actress and comedian Rebel Wilson during a private boat cruise at an undisclosed location in Fiji.   The singer-songwriter said he was beyond blessed and honoured to sing for the Australian-born actress, adding that it was “definitely a breath of fresh...

Backtracks: Local music veteran Mike Woo dies

In the ’50s, as Elvis Presley wowed fans across the world with his soulful voice and dance moves, a Fijian man of Chinese descent took on the king of rock’n roll’s style and gave it an island flavour that not only raised eyebrows – but also caught the attention of music lovers in Suva. With...

Backtracks: Taking music to the next level

Sauma Masidilo developed a passion for singing at a very tender age while growing up in his village of Vatulele, Wailei, in the province of Cakaudrove in the 90s. And his interest in music was inspired and nurtured by his grandfather. His grandfather was part of the village’s very popular sigidrigi group that used to...

CBM youths unite online

With everyone working from home over the last two years, a growing community of Fijians gathered online too, some mostly to pass the time. In what has been referred to as the #TeamFiji space, young people from all over the country and in the diasporic communities abroad have found ways to stay connected and entertained....

From village dreams to musical success

Music is the food of love. This rings true for local artist Qali Lomavatu Vakacegu who believes music is a tangible force that has the power to magnify emotions between lovers. Deep in the mountain ranges of Nakauvadra, Ra in the village of Naseyani was where Qali envisioned forming a music band. He loved singing...

It all happened at Korolevu

All that remains of the once bustling entertainment mecca at Korolevu on the Coral Coast are the stubborn charred concrete slabs that were once home to the best of Fijian tourism. For a musician in the ’60s, if you played at the Korolevu Resort, you had literally earned your stripes. Back then, the Korolevu Beach...

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