People | Suli’s Kere Vude wins

Suliasi Uluilakeba sings one of his originals “Kere Vude” during the 2023 Fiji Performing Rights Association (FPRA) awards night at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva on Saturday, May 13, 2023. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Nothing in life ever comes easy and local entertainer Suliasi Uluilakeba knows that.

The hardworking musician from Natokalau, Matuku in Lau was nominated in five categories at the 2023 FIPRA Music Awards held on May 13.

His song, titled ‘Kere Vude’ was a sensation and got nominated for the Best Composition, Artist of the Year, Most Popular Music Video, Most Popular Song and Best Recording Engineer categories.

The song also recorded over 2.6 million views on YouTube.

During an interview with this newspaper before the awards night, he said he was privileged to be pitted against the best name in the industry.

“This is the first time I have been nominated and I am very grateful that my song Kere Vude got me nominated five times,” he said.

“It’s not easy to be nominated, particularly because you’re competing against big artists and bands.”

Uluilakeba recorded and released Kere Vude from his own studio which he opened last year.

“Opening my own studio and recording Kere Vude was one of my greatest achievements and Kere Vude was the first song I recorded by myself.

“I also launched my own photoshoot production called Baka Production.”

Uluilakeba’s music journey began 15 years ago.

“It was a lonely journey to be honest, but I am grateful I made it to the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

“I will be releasing a new song titled Daru Meke in August so I hope the people of Fiji and the Pacific will enjoy it.”

The last two months had been difficult for Uluilakeba as he had lost his father, one of his greatest mentors and supporters.

“If I do happen to win an award this year, it will be for my late dad,” he said.

Uluilakeba got more than he wished for when he scooped not one but three categories – Best Composition, Artist of the Year and Best Recording Engineer categories.

His message to budding and upcoming artists was “if you’re dreaming of something big then go for it”.

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