LEISURE

Musos Form PowerPlay

PowerPlay is ready to take the local music scene by storm. The five member Nadi based-band was formed early this year. Band manager, Lisa Grant said the band is comprised
19 Aug 2017 12:05
Musos Form PowerPlay
From left: PowerPlay band members Semi Navutu, Taione Kaloucava, Emosi Varo, Joseph Navutu and Bill Navutu at Maui Bay Wharf in Sigatoka. Photo: PowerPlay Entertainment Fiji

PowerPlay is ready to take the local music scene by storm.

The five member Nadi based-band was formed early this year.

Band manager, Lisa Grant said the band is comprised of three brothers, two very good friends and a cousin.

Ms Grant said as manager she is the recent addition to the band.

“I’m working in partnership with the band leader Joe (Navutu) and PowerPlay Entertainment Fiji,” she said.

Ms Grant is from Australia and has been coming to Fiji for many years where she first met Joe (Navutu) at the Radisson Resort and became best of friends.

She was in awe of the talented line-up of the band and what at first started as a bit of a laugh soon turned into a serious role as band manager.

“I’ve a background in entertainment public relations, marketing and band management,” Ms Grant said.

Her daughter Maisy and niece Eliza have joined her as the band’s official photographer and stylist.

 

BACKGROUND
Ms Grant said Joe who is known as Joe Black, started playing in Denarau at the Hard Rock Cafe with the Take6 band but left to join the Kix band playing at Sofitel.

“Then Hard Rock Cafe offered him a regular Sunday gigs, playing good solid rock all night.

That is how the name PowerPlay came to be.”

Ms Grant said Joe then started playing as a solo singer and guitarist at the Radisson before being joined by his sister Atelini who played bass.

“When Atelini left, Joe handed the bass guitar to his younger brother Bill, who at the time had no interest in music.

Joe basically taught him on the job, getting Bill to follow his lead as he played the guitar.”

She said their younger brother Semi, who was still attending Marist Brothers High School in Suva, would join them during school holidays.

“Around the same time, their good friend Emosi Varo joined and the band started to take shape.”

Ms Grant said Joe was still being paid as a solo artist and it was not that much.

He managed to convince the other band members to hang on as this was a good training ground.

“Then things started to happen as they were offered to do regular gigs at the Double Tree Resort.

Then the need to have a keyboard player came up and that is when Taione (Kaloucava) joined. Joe and Taione had played in a band called Jus4p’s at the Naviti resort.

Their uncle, Joe Daurewa, also came in to play drums.”

Ms Grant said Daurewa was a seasoned musician who has played with many successful bands in the country including Black Rose (now known as Rosiloa) and Makare.

“After Semi finished school he came into the band full-time on guitar and also shared some of the lead vocals.

His cousin Paulo (Daurewa) also came onboard as roadie or equipment tech and a standby drummer as well.

 

POWER OF MUSIC

She said the name PowerPlay originated from the days of playing loud powerful rock at the Hard Rock Cafe.

“Although they now play a huge variety of genres, the name has stuck with them as the band believes in the power of music and they always play to make the audience feel just that.

Months before PowerPlay joined forces with Ms Grant, they were given a little toy zebra by a fellow musician and they kept it as a mascot.

“The PowerPlay family now believes this was a sign that they were destined for.

That is to be together in this journey with the symbolic combination of black and white stripes.”

She said PowerPlay recently launched a new logo, which features the zebra print.

The band caters all musical tastes and has an extensive playlist from the 50s and 60s through to current hits.

“The current crowd favourite is their amazing version of Justin Bieber’s Despacito.”

Ms Grant said Joe has written original songs and plays them on request.

 

UNIQUE

There are several things that set PowerPlay apart from any other band in the country.

Ms Grant said it’s the sheer level of talent and musicianship.

“It’s amazing. It has been born into them and is a God-given gift.

Their combined passion and genuine love of music is what drives them, playing music every day is a joy, not a job.” Ms Grant said Joe and the boys have an amazing ability to read the crowd and can switch up the set list to suit the mood.

“The mood they usually achieve is to have everyone up and dancing and having a great time.”

She said they also have the ability to play by ear.

“It is something very special, considering the amount of time they are asked to play a special request by someone in the crowd.

Sometimes, the band has never performed the requested song, but have only heard it but with a quick google of the lyrics, the boys launch into the song and nail it first time. This is extraordinary.”

 

CHALLENGES

Ms Grant said one of the challenges faced by the band is the cost and availability of good quality instruments and sound equipment in Fiji.

“The fee paid for live performances is not what it should be and there is also a lot of work that happens behind the scenes.”

She said even though people may think you only work a few hours a day, it’s all the other associated tasks that take a lot of time and dedication if you want to really succeed.

 

LONG TERM PLANS

She said they’re excited about the new original tracks and plan to have these recorded as soon as possible.

“The audience feedback on the original material has been outstanding and we are feeling very positive about taking this direction,”

Under the guidance of Joe and Ms Grant, PowerPlay is set to become the next big thing in the local music industry.

There is already interest from agents in New Zealand and Australia for a potential tour.

Ms Grant said social media plays a huge part of the success of the band and will be a key feature in their promotion of their new original material.

 

JAM SESSIONS

PowerPlay now plays live from 6pm-10pm, seven nights a week at the Nuku Bar at the Hilton Denarau.

They play regularly at the Denarau Marina complex during the day when passenger cruise ships come into port.

The band plans to add regular gigs in local bars and nightclubs in Nadi, Lautoka and Suva once the new original material is ready to roll out.

Their upcoming gig is on September 16 (Saturday) at the Nadi Farmers Club at 6pm.
Feedback: mere.satakala@fijisun.com.fj

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