The Power of Mu­sic

mailife - - Contents - Words and photo by MELA TUILEVUKA

For some fam­i­lies, tak­ing their chil­dren to church ev­ery Sun­day and singing in the choir is a rou­tine not to be missed. Such was life for 24-year-old Iliesa Le­sianawai, whose love for singing be­gan within the four walls of Yarawa Methodist Church. “When I was young, Dad and Mum took me to church choir prac­tice and I guess my love of mu­sic de­vel­oped from there,” he said. Le­saa as he is known in the mu­sic in­dus­try, the name he used when he re­leased his four al­bums, said his par­ents feared him be­com­ing a mu­si­cian. “At first when I told my par­ents that I was in­ter­ested in be­com­ing a mu­si­cian, they dis­agreed be­cause they thought the mu­sic in­dus­try did not have a lot to of­fer,” he said. “Now that I have re­leased four al­bums and am work­ing on my fifth one ti­tled The Fifth, my par­ents have ac­cepted that there is no turn­ing back for me,” he added. The Vuna vil­lager from Tave­uni fo­cuses his mu­sic on re­la­tion­ships and fam­ily ex­pe­ri­ences, ev­i­dent in some of his songs such as Mosita Lo, Na Matamu Walega and Nan­umi Au, which fea­ture Ilisa­vani Cava, who was men­tored by singer and song-writer Jessie J dur­ing The Voice 2016. “Most of my lyrics tell a story of real life ex­pe­ri­ence about re­la­tion­ships and life in gen­eral, they’re not made up,” he said. The youngest in the fam­ily with four older sis­ters and a brother, Le­saa is work­ing with other Hope Fiji lo­cal artists on a track to be in­cluded on his next al­bum. “The song we are work­ing on is about em­pow­er­ing youths of to­day and I am lucky to be work­ing with lo­cal artists such as Savuto, Kiti Ni­u­matai­walu, Vil­iame Na­voka, Ag­gie Vakaloloma, The Ac­cale­was and Eroni Dina for this track,” he said. Con­sid­er­ing his age, Le­saa feels he still has a lot to learn from older mu­si­cians. In par­tic­u­lar he fully sup­ports the ini­tia­tive taken by Nem and Talei in bring­ing back the old songs. “I am in­spired by what Nem and Talei have done with mu­si­cians and their songs from yes­ter­year,” he said. “Those mu­si­cians did not have a lot to work with in pro­duc­ing their work, un­like to­day.” Le­saa in­tends to re­lease his next al­bum late this month or early April if all goes to plan. It will in­clude a blast from the past – a song ti­tled Na Kau ni Meli which he will sing as a cover to pay trib­ute to mu­si­cians be­fore him.

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