FIRST impressions had me thinking the singing from some unseen far end of the room was coming from a karaoke bar.
I took no responsibility for attempting to satisfy my curiosity by venturing out to put a face to the voice that filtered across room - a voice that was strong like Aretha Franklin, fresh as Mariah Carey and sultry like Rihanna.
I forget the song she was singing at the time. But it was enough to get us away from the dining table to the Vakavanua Lounge.
And Rotuman-born Rosie Sagaitu failed to disappoint with the cover tracks she sang - some of which had us gaping with awe when we finally found her standing on centre stage at the Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji resort's Vakavanua Lounge.
Looking younger than the 23-year old that she is, the Tutu lass, petite and unassuming belted out in effortless fashion an Adele number that had Maca and I doing the goo-goo gaa-gaa thing.
That was at around this time last month, where Maca, Iva and I joined our hostess, the famous Una Murray - who is also the resort's public relations manager - to cap a day of fun-filled frivolous activities that made up the hotel's staff festival. Needless to say it was all compliments of the hotel management.
Dressed down, Sagaitu, surrounded by her band members of the four piece group Muddlers, carried off an air about her that said "And I'm not even trying". The resonance of the same message was even clearer when she hit the high notes.
In any case, the performance - albeit a host of back to back cover tracks - was probably the best I had heard in a while.
Against the alluring ambience of the coastal resort's Vakavanua Lounge, we sat back, unperturbed, in lush comfortable chairs, and soaked in the music from Muddlers.
For someone with a small frame, the graceful Sagaitu blew us away with her rendition of cover tracks dating as far back as the 70's to as recent as this century.
It came as a surprise then when band leader and Raiwaqa-raised Ratu Mario Bose, aka Fish or Junior, said Sagaitu wasn't their lead singer.
"There are four of us. The lead singer - a former member of the Fiji Police Band - could not make it tonight," he said during a break off stage.
With a voice that's definitely taking her places, Sagaitu said circumstances alone brought her to Suva in recent years to complete high school.
The self-confessed shower singer had never been to the mainland before.
She got her first break as a performer when she sang at Shangri-La's Fijian Resort in recent years.
"And then Ratu (Fish) called me and here I am," she said.
It's a sobering moment when you hear the name of someone you know all too well, mentioned among strangers - strangers who have no idea where you're coming from or who you are to the person cited with such high regard.
Bose, leader of the recently formed in-house band, hailed and credited a certain man for where he is today.
"This one's for Bruce," Bose said.
Bose had no inkling that the man he referred to remains a senior member of the journalism fraternity I work for.
"Wane (Ioane) Burese - you know him? I think he works in the media in Suva somewhere. He's the one that told me the things that got me where I am today," Bose said.
For Wane and Bruce is one and the same person - a 52-year old seasoned musician, former member of the famed Raiwaqa band Rootstrata and pioneer of the mainstream media, and The Fiji Times editorial chief of staff.
"He told me that this thing, the music, wouldn't make me fall, that it would carry me until I die.
"He said it's a contract; that you just have to keep on going, that if you start in a hotel, the most important thing is to listen. I grew up with these people (Burese). They taught me a lot.
"Wane, Freddy (Fesaitu), Paul Stephens, Tui Ravai - they pushed me to get this far," Bose said.
Muddlers got their stage name from a hotel department manager who, according to Bose, figured it fitting for a band that comprised cocktail-like mix and shake characters.
Other band members include lead singer Ana Rokoceu - who is one of the two founding members of the band and Pio Waqanisaga - a man who chose to say close to nothing at the time of the interview.
Bose likes Lionel Richie tracks and says the band can perform most genres. Rock is an exception, he said.