In a time when most musicians tend to just copy the classics, it is refreshing to see someone be original and strike out on their own. Wesley Akeli is one of those trailblazers. With a very distinctive voice, Wesley’s musical career has led him to begin a solo voyage in the genre of Christian music. This fresh young talent, originally from Hayward, CA, has a lot to offer to the Urban Island movement as he has decided to change his focus from Island music to Christian music, or as he likes to call it “spiritual” or “Godly” music. He has worked with a few well-known Polynesian artists such as Voka Mataele of Kontiki, Mevina Liufau of Nonosina, and others. His Samoan, Tahitian, and Tongan heritage has given him a special range of vocal talent that is as unique as it is fresh. He has a background in R&B, Polynesian, and Christian music and so it’s exciting to see how he will blend all these influences on future projects.
Now living in Oceanside, CA, Akeli has embarked on helping build the Polynesian community by focusing on youth development. He is currently involved with Ala o le Vavau (Ancient Pathways), a program that primarily focuses on leadership on a collegiate level, particularly those straight out of high school. The program also strives to tackle the social pressures many Polynesian-Americans face as well as create an environment where youth can be successful and learn about their culture and roots. This has helped to give Akeli the motivation to drop a Christian album that showcases his love of Jesus Christ. Akeli is working very diligently on his music and hopes to release his album at the end of 2012. The inspiration for his music comes from his grandmother, Avea Afoa, his father, David Akeli, John “Johnny Palmtreez” Afoa, Goof “Fambillion” Saffings, and music icons such as Donny Hathaway, Aretha Franklin, Prince and Sade to name a few. He aspires to have his music and videos featured on BET’s Gospel Sunday segment. Akeli is definitely an artist to keep an eye on in the Christian music world.
You can see and hear Akeli live at the “Rise of the Pacific” event that will be held on March 14, 2011 at Sacramento State. You can also hear him as a featured vocalist on Clint Mariteragi’s album Tamari’i No Tahiti available on iTunes.
Article written by: RAEN
*Photo Courtesy of Wesley Akeli
*Article Photo Courtesy of Brysonhk
*YouTube video provided by: nessalina
*YouTube video provided by Tafai32
*YouTube video provided by Brysonhk Channel