Domo Vou Talei: Music ‘a form of healing’

Joycelyn Karawa at the Thurstons Gardens in Suva. Picture: JONA KONATACI

Joycelyn Karawa composed an original song titled ‘You’, 20 minutes before the close of entries for the Domo Vou Talei song competition.

“I was not sure if I was too late,” the 25-year-old said.

When asked what ‘You’ was about, she said it was “a reminder to people that are going through things, they’re not alone”.

For Karawa, singing is not just vocalising lyrics to melody.

Music for the Nakorovou villager in Rewa is a form of healing.

The soulful way she delivered ‘You’ was a clear indication Karawa endured a lot to get to where she was today — one of the 10 finalists in the Domo Vou Talei song contest.

She said she was overjoyed when a work colleague at Mind Pearl informed her that one of the competition organisers Erica Lee said she had made the cut.

“Music is such an amazing thing, it’s not just for fun. It’s something that you could do to heal, the lyrics in the song can reach out to someone who’s struggling somewhere in Fiji.”

Karawa grew up in a musical family and began singing and playing guitar when she was a six-year-old.

“My family sings in church and at home.

“I have entered other music competitions with Elena Baravilala (renowned local artist) in 2016 but was not that successful.”

Karawa said she was humbled by the talent displayed by the other Domo Vou Talei contestants.

“The first time we met, I was just star-struck, everyone has such an amazing voice and style. We all bring something different to the table, no one is the same.

“I don’t know how the judges were able to choose each and every one of us.”

She said Korean Immortal Songs winner Sunia Soko Loga was “such an incredible mentor and coach” and was able to bring out the best in them vocally.

Karawa said support from her family had been phenomenal.

“My family lives in Lautoka, and I’m basically here by myself. They were excited for me.”

Karawa said the Domo Vou Talei original song competition was a good platform for discovering Fiji’s hidden talent.

“There is so much talent that a small island nation has to offer.

“Like Sunia Soko Loga, how he came from Fiji and made it big in the Korean Singing competition, that’s a goal everyone should aspire to.

“The abundance of talent we have it’s amazing how The Fiji Times and Westpac were able to support us, the first group that have been put together.”

Karawa and the other nine finalists will perform their original songs at the Woodstock Uprising Music Festival on July 9.

The Fiji Times is a sponsor of Domo Vou Talei, along with Westpac, Australian High Commission, FPRA, Communications Fiji Ltd and Knox Entertainment.

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