Akanisi’s Music Journey
It hasn’t been an easy journey for Akanisi Vakaloloma since hitting the local music scene in 2009. Originally from Tavualevu, Tavua, Akanisi grew up being surrounded by music in a family that has close links with the popular local band, Waikoula Kei Tavua.
“I grew up singing in church and it wasn’t until I sang during a function in Nadi when a man spotted me and suggested I sing in the resorts,” said Akanisi.
She started singing at the Wyndham Resort and stayed there for the next five years and at times also performed at the Sheraton Resort with a live band as her backup.
“I sang renditions of classic songs like Aretha Franklin and Natalie Cole so mostly jazz and blues at the resorts.”
One of her I-taukei hit single “Na Luvequ” was released last year which was co-written by Akanisi and a friend.
“I like singing live when I can feel the kick of the foot of the drum and that’s something else.”
It wasn’t until she moved to Suva that people started noticing her talent and she’s performed at clubs like Cozmo, Onyx, and Wrecktangles. She also performed at the Festival of Arts in Guam and toured America as well last year. She has performed alongside renowned artists like Savuto, Tua, Sammy Stephens and the band, Inside Out.
Lack of recognition and support from local musicians and trying to make a career from singing is a challenge.
However, the impact of social media has worked in Akanisi’s favour with positive feedback on her music.
“I attribute all my achievement to my family especially my mum, friends, and fans who believed in me from the start,” said the jazz and blues singer.
Akanisi’s advice to other artists out there is do music out of passion and if you do that everything else will fall into place and always have respect for everyone that you meet.
One of her long-term goals is to release her own I-taukei album and dedicates all she does to her two sons who are her greatest inspiration.