The Power of Music
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.