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Fiji Time: 5:29 AM on Wednesday 17 September

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Band promises fans a musical treat

Felix Chaudhary
Thursday, July 10, 2014

ROSILOA will not hold back when they perform at the 2014 FPRA Music Awards in Suva on Saturday July 26.

The band, formerly known as Black Rose, will showcase their Fiji Experience show, a visual and musical extravaganza that has taken the globe-trotting music ambassadors to countries as far away as Germany in Europe and the US.

And band leader Jim Ratusila says local fans will be in for a musical treat.

"We are very excited at being invited to be the house-band on the night and we are going to perform songs off our albums that have never been done live before," the 40-year-old shared.

"It's going to be an honour for all of us and a great celebration for Fiji music.

"We are looking at this as a big step forward for locally-produced music and a huge acknowledgement of the amazing composing talents of our very creative musical forefathers."

Ratusila said the awards performance would incorporate the services of high energy meke performers.

"We are going to give Fiji something they have never seen before in terms of our music combined with the visual artistry of meke for specific songs.

"Fiji will get to witness the music and dance that has taken us from Nadi to the world stage and I think the timing could not have been more perfect.

"Fijian music is experiencing a rebirth with new bands emerging on the scene and live music is slowly getting back to where it should be."

Ratusila said when Rosiloa began as Black Rose in the 90s, the band had copped a lot of criticism for doing cover tunes of local music from ages past.

"We went into covering the old iTaukei hits blindly.

"People didn't understand that we were simply paying tribute to the amazing composers from our past.

"So it will be an honour to perform some of these songs to the very people that wrote them at the awards."

Ratusila has been a very vocal proponent for Fijian music and entertainment to be recognised as a stand-alone industry that employs hundreds of people around the country and supports the livelihoods of thousands in the process.

He said because of minor indiscretions in the past, musicians had all been painted with the same brush — often labelled as drunks, drug-takers and lazy — and the music awards provided a platform that could change these mind-sets.

"Events like the 2014 FPRA Awards and the recent All Back Home show provide opportunities for people to change their perception about local musicians.

"The sheer professionalism in the way events like the awards is hosted combined with the charity driven and development focus of the ABH show are great ways to show the people who we really are and what we are all about.

"Local musicians do have to make a living but the focus is never money and fame — that is simply a by product of the industry we're in.

"Music is spiritual. It inspires and lifts you up when you're down.

"It reflects the pain that you go through and it has the magical ability to transcend you back in time to a special moment in your life.

"Musical talent is given to a select few and it is important for us to safeguard the works that we create, respect it for what it's worth and acknowledge it as something uniquely Fijian and something to be proud of.

"I also feel that it is important that people understand that I am passionate about guarding the musical and visual works that we produce because it takes hours to put a song or a dance move together.

"And you can imagine the pain we feel when someone copies a song or video and sells it cheaply.

"If we don't receive our just dues, it just makes it difficult to continue recording and putting new music out."

Ratusila said despite the immense contribution made by the industry to the country, musicians continued to face daily struggles in their bid to be recognised and acknowledged for their art.

"I'm not saying we need a handout, what we need is a hand up.

"The work we do needs to be given the appreciation it deserves and the music we create needs to be protected.

"We give up our entire lives to entertain the public and get very little in return apart from the satisfaction of bringing joy to people's lives.

"We need support from all sectors — government and private — to take us to where we should be.

"I firmly believe that music has the ability to overcome all barriers — religious, racial, economic and social — and I believe we could provide a bigger boost to the economy and to the general well-being of the country if we are given the support we need."

FPRA executive and the recognised king of vude, Seru Serevi, said getting Rosiloa to perform as the main band at the awards night was appropriate because of their contribution to Fiji music.

"They have never been given the recognition they deserve," he said.

"It's ironic that we hardly ever meet in Fiji. Every time we do get together, it's always been at international music events around the world.

"When we began meeting to discuss who we would feature as the main musical group for the night, I was adamant that we get Rosiloa because in terms of Fiji music, they have taken us to the international stage and set new platforms and standards for locally-produced music."

Serevi said tickets for the inaugural awards ceremony were selling fast.

"We have been amazed by the response from the public, and we would like to thank all our sponsors for helping us prepare to set the stage for the biggest musical event the country has ever seen."

The 2014 FPRA Music Awards will be held at the Grand Pacific Hotel on Saturday July 26.

Tickets are available at the FPRA head office at 66 MacGregor Road in Suva.

Fiji TV is the television media partner and Communications Fiji Ltd the broadcast media partner.

The Fiji Times is the print media partner for the event.

2014 FPRA Music Awards:

Categories sponsors

1. Best Composition — FPRA

2. Most Popular Song — Westpac Banking

Corporation

3. Best New Artist — New World

Supermarket

4. Most Outstanding Song —

Communications Fiji Limited

5. Best iTaukei Song — iTaukei Land

Trust Board

6. Best Hindi Song — Fiji Times Limited

7. Best English — PBS Group of

Companies

8. Best Recording Engineer — FPRA

9. Music Video of the Year — Fiji TV

10. Hall of Fame — FNU School of

Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

11. International Achievement —

Australasian Performing Rights

Association (APRA/AMCOS)

12. Outstanding Service to Fiji —

TABS Investments


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