ALESI Naituivau’s passion for singing began at a tender age and her passion for writing songs was harnessed when she joined as a freelance feature writer for a newspaper in 1997.
Naituivau says she comes from a family of singers and composers from her mother’s side, the Naivalurua family.
“My mother’s family is the Naivalurua family and one of my uncles, Dr Naivalarua, used to sing for Black Diamonds with Timoci Gucake,” she said.
“He was the one who helped harness this talent of singing and he also taught me how to play instruments when I was young.” After leaving the newspaper in 1999, the sudden demise of a cousin pushed her even further to begin writing songs.
“My cousin-sister was a nurse. Her name was Bui. After her passing, I had come home to find my relatives mourning her death so this is where I began writing songs in 2010,” she said.
“When I came out of the house after learning about her passing, the lyrics about Bui just came to me so I wrote the song.”
As a former features writer, Naituivau said it didn’t take her long to write a song because the ideas came easily to her.
“If a person asks me to write a song, I’ll just ask for details on what the song should be about and I write it,” she said.
“It’s easy for me because I used to be a features writer so it’s easy for me to write a song.”
Naituivau and Josefa Namatua’s song Weli Gaga has been nominated for the Best iTaukei Song at this year’s Fiji Performing Right Association (FPRA )Music Awards.
The song was written by Namatua, but she had changed some of the lyrics.
“The song Weli Gaga was written by Josefa Namatua who is from Naigigi. “He sings the lead and I am seconding him in this song,” she said.
“This song is about a couple who were living in Vanua Levu. The boy had come to Suva and upon returning he found out that the girl was pregnant with his best friend’s baby which is why the song is called Weli Gaga, because his best friend betrayed him.”
Naituivau, who is originally from Tavuki and has maternal links to Lomanikoro, Kadavu believes that if a person has a talent, he or she must make use of it.
“My advice to people who know they have talent to sing as this is a gift from God. “It doesn’t matter what age you are, you have to make use of it,” she said.
“I knew when I never used to compose or sing songs , I had to make use of the talent God gifted me which is why I stepped out of my comfort zone and put it to good use.”