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Top songs and Groups 2012

Solomoni Biumaiono
Sunday, January 06, 2013

Savu ni Delai Lomai and Kerry Damudamu are the top two artists in Fiji right now after they claimed the first two spots in the 100 song countdown for the top two iTaukei radio stations in the country, Viti FM and Bula FM.

Savu ni Delai Lomai which is again, led by Semi Kaitani after a two-year sabbatical and soul searching topped the Viti FM 100 song countdown with the song Qoroi na kemu roka from the band's latest album.

Damudamu claimed second spot with his song Cava na Leqa or which is more popularly known as Rosi Ni Qamea.

For the Bula FM, Damudamu topped the lot with the song Dodomo while Kaitani's Savu ni Delai Lomai claimed second spot.

The top 100 countdown by these two radio stations is usually done on New Year's Eve to mark the occasion but it is also seen within the music circle as a good yardstick to measure the popularity of songs, bands and solo artists.

Bula FM's program director Salanieta Veilawa said they followed a they had established out in the last two years when it came to picking songs and putting them into which spot.

For this year they were put in a dilemma because the three bands and artists gunning for the top three spots were so close that they had to run a separate selection process in order to separate them.

"Yes we do. We have our own criteria that really helped and to be fair to our artists and we used this in the last two years. We also have listeners' participation in our top three selection," Veilawa said.

Viti FM's programs manager Malakai Veisamasama said this was the second year they have had a top 100 song compilation.

Veisamasama said their criteria was set from the daily top five afternoon countdown they usually did and from there they saw which band or solo artist spent the most time at number one and calculations were based on this statistic.

"This is for the songs from the 1st spot to 100 but for the top 10 we're confident enough that those groups in the top 10 have featured in our Top Five at Five. The top 10 are chosen by the people. It's not our choice.

"Our listeners either text it in, call it in or write in with their choices and we received an overwhelming response to this year's countdown which I can say its 40 per cent more than last year," Veisamsama said.

Both radio stations claimed it was really a close tussle between Damudamu and Savu Ni Delai Lomai because they both had produced popular and catchy tunes.

Savu Ni Delai Lomai claimed the number one and number eight spots in the Viti FM top 100 list with the songs Qoroi na kemu roka and Galili na bula while it claimed the number two spot in the Bula FM top 100 list with the song Dodomo au rui mosita.

Kaitani's work with Procera Music engineers has seen the production of Diva, which is the band's sixth album to date ever since their debut back in 2007 with the hit Lini.

For Kaitani this does mean a lot for him because he had spent the last two years recording gospel music than anything else as he said the pressures and demands Savu ni Delai Lomai had on him were so immense he nearly lost his young family in the process.

For giving up his love for music to pursue the much less demanding gospel music made him rethink his life before he felt it was time to return to Savu Ni Delai Lomai.

For Damudamu it was more or less dividing his time between his farm on Taveuni and the recording studio.

What first started out as simply doing a favour for one of his friend turned out to be an instant hit and eventually the top gong in the Bula FM's top 100 countdown.

The Nagigi villager was surprised with the popularity of his song Cava na leqa as the public was soon interested in the story behind the song.

Apart from Damudamu and Kaitani's Savu Ni Delai Lomai, Australia-based band Takia also featured in the top 100 list, making the top 10 for both radio stations list.

With their song Oiauwe, Takia was number four on the Viti FM list while it was number nine in the Bula FM list.

Takia is led by Mansus Knight, the son of George Knight who made waves in Fiji in the 1990s with his band Kabani.

Last year's Bula FM chart topper Malumu Ni Tobu Kei Naivaukura led by Jiosefa Vetaukula dropped down to third place with the song Sa sevi koso and with the same song it made the number six spot in the Viti FM list.

Master Etonia Lote the progenitor of the Delai Dokidoki claimed the number four spot in the Bula FM top 100 list with his group Leba Boi Yawa iLomai Nasau with the song Tawa guilecavi and he claimed the number nine spot in the Viti FM list with the same group with the song Vula kua ni dro.

Veisamasama adds that musicians should try to avoid the last-minute rush of making releases just prior to the festive season because there are many advantages in releasing their albums early.

"There are many advantages of releasing early because it will become a familiar sound to the public because they will learn the lyrics by heart and they will also learn the song structure by heart and also they will learn the storyline behind the song by hear," Veisamsama said. "So when a new release is made, they will have a difficult time because the public is already familiar with other music and sounds which by this time has become part of their lives because they have associated it with a moment or a stage of their lives."

Bula FM's Veilawa said the top 100 countdown had changed a lot as it used to feature older musicians like the late Sakiusa Bulicokocoko and Melaia Dimuri and the Gaunavou Group to name a few.

"Compared to these days, we have young talent who have really lifted the standard of our music industry especially with local tunes. I would like to encourage them to keep up the good work and to use their talent wisely. I have no favour of any artists but as long as the artists recording has the best quality for radio that would be the best one," Veilawa said.

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