For the love of music

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GROWING up in their respective villages and singing sigidrigi was one of the factors that motivated seven men from Nagigi Village in Labasa and nearby villages in Savusavu to form a band of their own.

Known as the Nakauvadra-Dewala-Vasu-Ni-Tuatua Brothers, their mission is to share their talents and encourage more people to love music.

For this week’s column, we spoke to one of the members of the band, Semiti Qalo, and he described the journey taken up by seven young men last year to achieve their dream.

“All seven of us come from different villages, but we have one thing in common which is our love for music,” Semiti said.

“We are all farmers and the idea of forming the band came up because we had been singing in village gatherings and other occasions for the past six to seven years, and just last year we decided to go up another level.

“Apart from sigidrigi, we sing pop iTaukei songs, gospel and reggae. Since we are farmers, we sing during our leisure time.

“We have released one album so far with 10 songs in it. These include gospel, reggae and jazz songs. We are also currently working on a separate album which has gospel songs only.”

He said the villagers loved the idea of them forming a band.

“Many of them can’t believe that we have actually formed the band. They support us very much and some of them also give us ideas for our songs and compositions,” he said.

“We still have not performed on a local stage like music concerts and competitions, but we want to. We are still a young group and have many things still to learn.”

He said the group wanted to continue their singing. “This is a breakthrough for us as singers to form a group. We play guitars and ukuleles during our performance,” he said. “It actually takes us months to compose songs and tunes.”

Semiti said young musicians in the country should make use of their talents.

He said there were many talented individuals out there, but many of them only sang for fun.

“But they do not know that their talents can earn them a living and take them places,” he said.

He also highlighted that piracy still continued to plague the music industry in the country, something that affected musicians such as them a lot.

“For musicians, our talents are our source of incomes. This piracy dampens the amount of royalties and profits we get,” he said.

“People should buy original work of artistes. This is the only way to look after the welfare of fellow musicians in the country.”

With their next recording yet to be released, Semiti also thanked Procera Music Shop for giving the band the opportunity to record their songs at their recording studio.

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