Ilai finetunes songs

Ilai Lomaloma with his young family with his equipments at his house in Tuatua, Labasa. Picture SERAFINA SILAITOGA

WHEN musicians in the North fail to tune their songs to the liking of their listeners, they usually refer to Ilai Lomaloma for help.

This is usually done at Faith Studio when albums are recorded.

The studio, which used to sit in the heart of Labasa Town, has closed down because the owner, Ilai, operates from his house under his company — Matata Production.

However, he continues to help musicians fine tune of songs and create an intro that will attract listeners.

And he has helped fine tune songs of groups such as the Delaisea, Breakers Brothers, Drodrolagi kei na Utosolo, Senibuasala, Waikatakata Vure, Kabu kei Uluivanualevu and some gospel singers.

Ilai has been involved in this work since secondary school while attending Labasa Sangam College.

Infact, he won the Best Music Producer Award for the Kula Film competition while in school and since then he has helped musicians, mostly his relatives, put songs together.

“I won that award for two years in a row and although I dropped out of school in Form 6, I have kept in the business of producing music,” he said.

“When these groups come and record their songs for new albums, they only walk into my studio with guitars and they play their songs while I try to figure out some intro. “So I use my software known as music producer and I can insert drum beats, tempos in music and we produce it to ensure that the listeners will love their songs.”

Sometimes, he said the musicians would want simple music.

“So I also work according to their likes and needs but sometimes we discuss how will it have an impact on their fans, whether it will be enjoyed by listeners or is it too boring,” he said.

“When we discuss all these issues, then we agree to work on just one tune and most of it is decided by the musicians. I only step in when they need help.”

Producing music, Ilai said is not a difficult task.

“It’s enjoyable because it also makes us think and to become more creative with music ensuring that whatever we produce, suits the audience of today,” he said.

“That’s why it’s important to know the different audiences of today, the kind of music they love listening to and make sure it’s understood. “The audience need to understand your music and when you know these basic issues, you can always work yourself around it as a producer.”

Ilai also assists with live band performance during launching of albums or concerts.

“I have my own band and we have our full set of musical equipment so when these musicians launch their new albums in Labasa, I provide the live band,” he said.

“I develop my music business to suit the needs of musicians so setting up a live band was part of it.”

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