MU­SIC

mailife - - Advertisement - By MELA KATONIVUALIKU Pho­tos IVAMERE ROKOVESA

Where there is a Will there’s a Way

A first-born child in his fam­ily, Wil­liam Orville Driver had such a cute­ness and chub­bi­ness over­load that the neigh­bours kept him hostage most of the time. His dad Ge­orge Driver, a po­lice of­fi­cer at Ba Po­lice Sta­tion and mum Maisie could not do much as their neigh­bours in Varadoli, the Baleisuva fam­ily from Ka­davu, were al­ways at their doorstep want­ing to carry young Wil­liam. Ratu Manoa and Bu­lou Vil­isi Baleisuva had six daugh­ters and a son – they were a mu­si­cal fam­ily and were the back­bone of the Varadoli Methodist Church choir in Ba. Their youngest and only son Manoa (Jnr) was very fond of the lit­tle lad next door and treated him as a younger brother. The Baleisuva sis­ters also re­garded Driver as their youngest brother and were very fond of him – in fact he went to fin­ish his sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion at Le­lean Memo­rial School so he could be close to his adop­tive fam­ily af­ter they moved to Suva. Lit­tle did the Baleisuva fam­ily re­alise that Driver in­her­ited their love of mu­sic and an awe­some voice, which he has now put to­gether as a solo mu­si­cian try­ing to make it big in the mu­sic in­dus­try. He has also es­tab­lished his own band called Waves. The soft-spo­ken So­mo­somo vil­lager from Tave­uni Driver in­sists he owes his mu­si­cal tal­ent to his Ratu (the late Ratu Manoa Baleisuva) who com­posed Fi­jian hymns sung in many churches to­day, and Nau Bu­lou Vil­isi. “Grow­ing up with my adop­tive fam­ily played a big part in my ven­tur­ing into the mu­sic scene and I owe a lot to them,” Driver said. “I also thank my Dad and Mum, now in Lau­toka, for their sup­port with what­ever I wanted to pur­sue.” It’s as if the 21 year old Wil­liam had two sets of par­ents and two lots of

sib­lings, but he said he loves them equally. “I have a younger sis­ter Rowena and a younger brother Manoa – and yes my younger brother is named af­ter my Ratu.” Both fam­i­lies have come to­gether to sup­port his mu­sic ca­reer as start­ing a band is not an easy task for a young mu­si­cian. “I have al­ways wanted to have my own band since I was small and I guess this is a re­sult of watch­ing too many videos of John Meyer and Eric Clap­ton con­certs,” he said. Driver doesn’t con­sider him­self one of the best mu­si­cians as yet, he knows there is a lot of room for im­prove­ment. “One of the chal­lenges in this in­dus­try is try­ing to keep up with peo­ples’ taste in mu­sic and at the same time lift­ing the stan­dard of mu­sic in Fiji.” He con­sid­ers him­self lucky to have grown up with his adop­tive mu­si­cal fam­ily be­cause he said th­ese days vet­eran mu­si­cians hardly want to teach the younger gen­er­a­tion the ropes. “So, we have to make the move our­selves and teach our­selves.” Driver is one who likes to go with the flow and live for to­day: “I don’t know what the fu­ture holds for me but I in­tend to pur­sue my love for mu­sic and see where it takes me. I don’t want to ex­pect too much.”

Driver knows there is a lot of room for him to grow in the mu­sic in­dus­try.

Driver watches too many mu­sic videos which is how he de­vel­oped his pas­sion for mu­sic.

Driver goes with the flow and lives one day at a time.

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