Jai’s journey to musical stardom
22 March, 2018, 12:00 am
RENOWNED local musician Ronald Jai has added another accolade to his list of achievements in the local music industry.
Jai, who rose to stardom in the 1980s and recorded the hit song Musu Musu Haasi which won him the Album of the Year award at the Vakalutuivoce Music Awards in 1997, has launched his new album titled Romantic Rewind which contains 11 songs.
Speaking to this newspaper, Jai said he released this album after a lapse of 28 years.
“I released my last album in 1990 and so far I have released 21 albums. This album contains different beats of music for music lovers,” Jai said.
Known as the total entertainer of the music industry in the country, Jai said some of the songs in the album were tributes to legendary Bollywood singers RD Burman, Kishore Kumar and Mohammed Rafiq.
“The number one song in the album is Mere Rashke Qamar. I am grateful for Procera Music Shop boss Mohammed Akif to give me a chance to record the album,” Jai said.
“It took me nearly a month to compose the album and I really want to thank Jai Prasad from Navtarang in helping me select the songs for this album,” he said.
“It was always my plan and dream to release an album which I can tribute it to some of my favourite singers.”
Jai said his expectations when he performed on stage shows was to do something new every time for the audiences.
“My plan is to go to Australia, New Zealand and Canada to do stage shows for the people living there. I love performing and singing,” he said.
“I perform stage shows continuously around the country with the Communications Fiji Ltd (CFL) events team.”
Jai’s passion for music started at an early age way back in 1969 while attending Samabula Government Boys School.
“I first competed in the Hindi song talent quest and won third prize and the song I sang was Saramora Kajra. This was the beginning for me after coming third in the Swaja Young Men’s Club talent quest,” he said.
Jai joined the Young Dolphins band then in 1990 and joined Fiji Melody Makers band and His Masters Orchestra.
He said back then, a well-known Bollywood singer and composer by the name Sonu Nigam came to Fiji and their band Melody Makers was asked to perform background music for him.
“Few other Bollywood hit singers also came and we provided the back-up music for them. These included Jojo, Anand Raj Anand and Babul Supriyo and in our last show we also played for the famous Kunal Gajawala in Suva,” he said.
Jai recorded his first album in the 1980s titled Non-stop Disco with another album he recorded with Tui Ravai called Film Hits.
Jai joined Seru Serevi’s band and with Laisa Vulakoro did shows all around Fiji, at events, festivals and charity fundraisers.
“I gained more experience with the likes of top musicians and performers Sakiusa Bulicokocoko, Tui Ravai, Seru Serevi and Laisa Vulakoro. I respect them and will always thank them,” he said.
“All my songs are being played on Radio Navtarang, Legend FM, FM 96 and Sargam. I’m so happy with my arrangement with FM 96.”
Jai mentioned that the music industry in the country had gone down because the younger generations nowadays did not show a lot of interest in music.
“Before, there used to be a lot of music groups as well, but now it has been diminishing slowly. The younger generation are more into technology and new songs and are moving away from old songs and religious songs as well,” he said.
“My advice to the people out there is that if they want to be interested in the music industry, they should be focused because music was all about love, peace and harmony.”
Jai added that he was still undecided about what to do after the launch of his new album.
“After this album, if it gets a good response, then I will definitely work on releasing another album in the future,” he said.
Meanwhile, Radio Navtarang director Satya Nand said Jai had a unique way of entertaining the audiences which really stood out from the rest of the musicians and his new album had a very good collection of songs.
Radio Sargam director of program Roneel Narayan said Jai was a total performer on stage and asked members of the public to show him support.