Makare takes music to the next level

Makare, standing(l-r) David Vosawale, William ‘Bigwilz’ Waqanibaravi, Felix Chaudhary and (front l-r) Simi Rova and Phil Dakei during a video shoot for Ko Sa Rui Yawa Mai Vei Au off their newly released album Makare III on Leuleuvia Island. Picture MAKARE

For four old friends who began their musical journey together more than a decade ago, seeing five of their recently released tracks grace the iTunes Top 100 Fiji list has them excited.

Their renditions of classic iTaukei tunes are slowly but surely finding their way into the ears, hearts and minds of the now generation.

For Makare, this has been at the forefront of the project, and if the popularity of the last two albums were anything to go by, their third attempt should provide the music of old with a new bank of listeners.

Sadly, the songs – Ko Ni Sa Rui Yawa Mai, Noqui Tau, Au Mai Tu Taudua Tu, Liwavi Au Na Cagi Ni Veisau and Nadi International Airport – are off Makare III, their final remake of classic iTaukei tunes that has become the hallmark of the group.

The band was formed in 2012 by four friends – William ‘Bigwilz’ Waqanibaravi, Phil Dakei, Simi Rova and Felix Chaudhary.

The quartet used to gather around the basin at either Dakei, Rova or Bigwilz place to while away the night with impromptu jam sessions.

Bigwilz, then a novice, decided to record a few of his original English songs with the assistance of his three buddies.

The genesis of Makare came about when he forgot the lyrics of one of his songs, and the quartet decided to record Au Wavokiti Vuravura, an iTaukei song composed and originally released by Bua Ni Lomai Nabua many moons ago.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Makare went on to release its second album Taura Tale in 2014 and work on Makare III began not long after that.

However, the group members went their separate ways with Bigwilz and Rova recording and releasing a string of hits, Dakei producing for numerous artists who went on to become successes in their own right.

When asked what being on the iTunes Top 100 list meant, Bigwilz said it was exciting.

“But exciting because it means a lot of people, hopefully, the young generation, are listening to the unparalleled creative genius of the old iTaukei songwriters,” he said.

“It just means we are still able to do what we set out to do from the very beginning with this project – introduce old music to a younger generation, and rekindle memories for the older generation.”

Eight years between albums has been a long time, and Bigwilz said a lot of people did not know that the quartet had never set out to establish a performing band per se.

“We didn’t plan any of this, it happened quite by accident and took on a life of its own from the first album – so we were all trying to play catch up to the popularity of the music.

“After Taura Tale, we decided to wind things down and catch our breath so to speak.

“So releasing Makare III eight years after Taura Tale is probably the first ‘planned’ and deliberate act by the band.

“We also took so long to release the album because we reached outside of the core band members to find a new and different sound.

“We didn’t want to do something that sounded the same as Makare and Taura Tale so we enlisted the creative genius of One2Eight bassist and producer Ratu Joe Tabakaucoro and guitarist/producer Tawake ‘Tux’ Jackson.

“They gave us a new energy and a new sound and we believe it’s better than the first two albums, and hope the music lovers out there feel the same.”

Makare III producer and guitarist/vocalist Phil Dakei said being on the Top 100 Fiji Apple music list meant that iPhone or Apple users were listening and downloading the tracks.

“It’s good in the sense that there is still interest in what we are doing, so as long as there are people who like what we are doing, the a amazing composing talent of the past is being introduced into the new generation.” he said.

“But remember, this is only for Apple users and iPhone owners who are listening and downloading our tracks.

“When we receive monthly reports from other music hosts, we will have a better idea of how popular Makare III has been.”

More Stories