Kula Kei Uluivuya – KKU
Kula kei Uluivuya, better known by their stage name KKU, have gained popularity over the years in the local music scene.
Songs like Tagimoucia, Asinate, Seni Mokosoi, and Waimanu Kui have been a hit in our local radio stations.
Lead singer, songwriter and producer, Viliame Cokanauto said he first took up a guitar in 2012 when he was a university student.
“I pushed myself to learn how to play the guitar especially when I wanted to sing and no one was there to play,” said Mr Cokanauto.
KKU was formed at Mr Cokanauto’s home in Suva with five members and since they started playing live in July last year have nine members now.
The band’s unique name was inspired by a bird found in Mr Cokanauto’s mum’s village in UluivuyaNabouwalu, Bua, VanuaLevu.
Band members include William Simpson-drums, Wise Matawalu-rhythm guitar, John Batiratu-lead guitar, Luke Matawalu-bass guitar, Saki Nacanieli-keyboard, Kitione Baleilakeba, Marika Matawalu, Viliame Cokanauto-lead vocals, Vincent Titifanua-sound engineer and manager.
Mr Cokanauto said challenges the band faces include finances because sometimes it’s really difficult when you start off as a band, you need equipment and transport.
“The way people react to the music, that gives us something to build on, it shows that people appreciate what you do and you can’t call it quits
“It’s a waste to throw your talent away it’s all about the passion,” he said.
The band has released three albums so far: Tagimoucia, I am KKU, andDuru Mai Tavale.Their genres include island and roots reggae, rock, jazz, and blues.
They’ve performed at the Hibiscus and Bula festivals, Corona Uprising festival, Tagimoucia festival, resorts, weddings and birthdays.
Advice to other upcoming artists and bands out there is if you want people to take you seriously then you have to be really professional to be an artist. Things like timing and communication is important.
Mr Cokanauto said hours of practicing and sacrifices are what people don’t realise what it takes to make a band work.
The band is currently working on their music videos produced by their own KKU productions label.