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Island News

Jio makes it big despite challenges

May 28
12:00 2011

Written By : ILIESA TORA. He is from Nasau Village on Koro Island.
The life there centres around music.
Songs are heard being sung almost on a daily basis. Sigidrigi they call it. It’s acoustic singing in the modern day language.
It’s the best way to relax they say, especially after a hard day’s work.
Jiosefata Veitaukula is the lead singer for local group Malumu ni Tobu Kei Naivaukura.
The name comes from that lovely harbor next to Mato, on the Tuatua end of Nasau Village.
The harbour is shadowed by Delai Dokidoki, which stands high above the serene village.
Jio, as he is well known, is a talent many in the country would admire.
His voice is something many young children would crave to have.
He has a unique talent, in that he can sing and take all three voices – soprano, alto and tenor – without any problem.
Four years ago he released his first album.
Aptly titled RKS, the album’s hit song was the song about Lodoni school, Ratu Kadavulevu School.
It was a hit, especially with RKS Old Boys and their families.
“That was a song that made us, got us the recognition we needed on the local music scene,” he said.
Mr Veitaukula has had to fight to get recognition.
The fact that Nasau boasts so many singing groups makes that challenge more interesting.
The Voqa ni Delai Dokidoki, Voqa kei Nasau, Veivueti Ni Voqa Kei Nasau, Tara ni Domo Talei Voqa ni Delai Nakulakuka and Savu ni Delai Lomai are some of the big names that came out from the village in the past 10 years.
Malumu ni Tobu kei Naivaukura broke into the local music industry when all these groups were already established.
Then there were competition from the Drodrolagi kei Nautusolo, Domo ni Savu, Kabu ni Delai Kade and Sekope Raikoro to deal with.
“It was tough but I believe God had a place for me in the local music scene,” Mr Veitaukula said.
“He gave me the talent and the backing from my family has helped.
“I am also thankful to Mohammed and the team at Procera Music plus the local radio stations for their support.
“And the fans for what they have been to me and the group. The support from fans made us what we are.”
Last year Mr Veitaukula and his group released another album, and he also teamed up with Volasiga Kei Visailele to release an album titled ‘Tauvu Duet’.
Mr Veitaukula says he believes there are a lot of local talents that could be top musicians in the world if they are given the chance and the support to shine.
“Fiji is lucky to have so many talented musicians and they just need the support,” he said.
Well, Mr Veitaukula would not have made it this far without the support he is talking about.
He was raised in Nasau Village and grew up hearing all the different groups singing their favourite songs.
That was early initiation.
And it has helped him become the talented singer that he is now.
He received special awards at the Procera Music Awards earlier this year, a mark of recognition for the work that he is doing so well.
But better songs are still to come.
“We can only get better if we improve and learn from the past. I believe we have more to offer the local music industry,” he said.
That is something we can all look forward to.
And Fiji should be proud of musicians like Mr Veitaukula and others who are providing the daily entertainment with their compositions and stories sung through their songs.

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