A musical journey – Baledrokadroka among the best

Waisiliva Baledrokadoka with the renowned Ken Janson, left, and Tom Mawi who he had his first memorable gig with in the 1980s. Picture: SUPPLIED

A familiar face in the local music industry – Waisiliva Baledrokadroka often known by his stage name Wise Baledrokadroka – shares how music has changed his life.

Being exposed to music at a very young age by this grandfather, who has links to Tonga, music quickly influenced Wise to become one of the best keyboard and bass guitar players in the local music industry today.

From his bass guitar regular and rock solid beats to his keyboard smoothing musical foundation, Wise thanks God for the blessing on his musical journey.

With his genres ranging from rock, blues, country and soul, there has been no limitation to what he has learned over the years as he strongly believes in playing good music no matter the situation.

Wise, who hails from Nasaqalau Village in Lakeba, Lau, attributes his success to his family from Tonga who exposed him to music as a young boy.

“It was my grandfather from Tonga who inspired me to be a musician.”

He said while his grandfather inspired him to be a musician, it was Yaminiasi Gaunavou who noticed his musical talent.

He said Mr Gaunavou spotted him at the popular Hibiscus Festival that was held at Sukuna Park many years back.

“I can also remember that my first ever gig was in 1988 at the Etiquettes Nite Club and the best gig I did was with Ken Janson and the legendary Tom Mawi.”

He said apart from being a musician he was also into farming, something he is still does to this day.

“This God-given talent has taken me to some parts of the world.

“I still can’t believe that a grassroots musician like me could achieve that, it was all through music. To be able to represent local music abroad is just wonderful.”

For someone who has worked in the local music industry for a few decades, he said it was important for young musicians to always respect older musicians who have vast musical knowledge.

“It is important to share knowledge and experience with other musicians and to be a good member of society. “It is also important to always acknowledge God for his goodness in giving us this talent.”

He said the local music industry today continued to grow with many upcoming talents making their mark in the industry.

Wise is currently the president of the Fiji Suva Musicians Club that looks after the interest of musicians and singers in the industry.

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