SULTRY Fiji-born songstress Aiysha Saagar has launched a music video that she hopes will bring more visitors to our shores.
Titled "My Fiji", the video was shot at island resorts, the Fiji Cultural Centre and at various tourist attractions which featured stunning white sandy beaches against the backdrop of azure waters.
Filmed over nine days in 2010, "My Fiji" was a labour of love for the popular Bollywood pop star.
"We used island resorts, yachts, choppers and Skydive Fiji, the Fiji Cultural Centre and various other sites showcasing Fiji's cultural diversity as well as activities that people can hope to engage in when visiting Fiji. It was a team decision to use these sites. My unit and Tourism Fiji jointly decided on the locations to be filmed. The main objective was to show the beauty and diversity of Fiji to the world," the 33-year-old Australia-based artist shared.
"This music video is not of commercial value to me as a professional artist. My reason for writing and singing the song 'My Fiji' and filming the video was to give something back to my country of birth, by assisting to promote Fiji as a wonderful tourist destination. We filmed for nine days where I did not charge for my time or for the song."
Sung against the music of Sydney-based producer Ali Sarshar and directed by renowned movie and music video director Navneet Baj Saini, "My Fiji" captures the vivid colours and sights that entice over half a million visitors to Fiji annually.
Scenes shot on white sandy beaches interspersed with skydiving footage and scuba diving underwater scenes reveal what the visiting masses continue to come to Fiji for.
With a storyline that recounts early childhood days spent at the beach with her father, Aishya manages to weave personal experience into the largely promotional video.
My Fiji is yet another example of Aiysha's leaning towards English pop, an area that she hopes to develop as her showbiz career expands from music videos to the silver screen.
"I wrote this song along with most of the other English songs in my albums. I have been writing for the past seven years either solo or co-writing with other lyricists. If the song is in Hindi or Punjabi, I usually write the English bits as I 'think' in English, although I do sometimes compose the melody of these songs. My spoken Hindi is not so good and Punjabi is almost zero. I sing in all three languages though and have also sung in Fijian, Arabic, Spanish and Marathi."
The now Australian resident has dabbled in the Bollywood music and movie scene but her ultimate aim was to make the big time on the English pop charts.
"English is my strength and I would like to take my music to mainstream English eventually. My main focus at this stage is the Bollywood scene."
The popular Bollywood artist uses various instruments to compose her music but she also professes a burning desire to develop her music skills in the hope of becoming more accomplished and proficient.
"I use the keyboard, sitar or harmonium during vocal training but unfortunately do not play any instrument professionally. I would love to play guitar on stage and am seriously thinking about learning when I finally get a break. When it comes to composing music, we usually sit in a studio with the lyricist, rhythm master and a harmonium player and compose the bridge and chorus. Then we work on the verses. I usually write while I am travelling long distances or when I am inspired by events around me. Other members in my travelling group usually sit away from me as I tend to sing to myself while writing and they feel embarrassed. I have even had people come up to me and say 'are you okay ma'am?' which is quite funny as I sometimes don't realise how loud I can get, especially when travelling on a plane," the 33-year old star revealed.
During her travels around the world, the Indian pop star has noticed an increase in the number of people that are aware of Fiji as a country and a holiday destination but by the same token many bemoan that distance continues to be an issue when choosing a vacation spot for annual holidays.
"People everywhere are certainly becoming more familiar with Fiji. Unfortunately for most countries Fiji is too far to travel for a holiday. What needs to be promoted is the beauty of Fiji and its people and I hope that the song 'My Fiji' along with the music video will contribute towards that. I love Fiji and its people and I hope that people around the world will get to experience this for themselves."