One of the most memorable island sounds of the South Pacific is none other than that of Island Reggae artist Fiji. An island renowned name, Fiji is by far the most circulated, distributed and sought after artist in the Urban Island realm. He first broke out onto the music scene in 1994 with the classic album Evolution which solidified his place in the Island music world. It became the foundation to what we know today as the most captivating and moving sounds of the island favorite, Fiji. The WhatItDo was fortunate to interview Fiji to find out “What He Do” and to get a little more personal with the man behind the music.
Of course… We deserve our own genre. We can conquer mainstream, but it’s not going to take one of us but all of us. If you think about it, WE ARE mainstream. ~Fiji
Born George Veikoso, he took up the name of his island home of Fiji and used it as his artist name to ensure that when people heard him, they would always remember where he was from. Fiji embraces his heritage and uses it as inspiration. His vocals range from bass to falsetto and is easily showcased on all of his albums. You can find one of Fiji’s songs on every Polynesian’s playlist and any live performances by him are constantly sold out. That can’t be said about every Island Reggae artist, but it’s all that needs to be said about Fiji. If everyone at your concert goes ballistic when you’re on stage and can sing every song by heart, that’s RESPECT. When writing or producing, Fiji really doesn’t anticipate what the next hit is going to be. He has a concept, freestyles the content, gets into the studio and the result is a smash! His caliber of talent is phenomenal.
Fiji fans and music lovers have always wondered why he has never crossed over to the mainstream. His talent far exceeds that of many Island artists and has been targeted by major music labels. So why not sign with one of them and go mainstream? Fiji shared with us that if he crossed over, he would be restricted in what he wants to do with his music. For him, it’s more than just being successful or being financially set; His music represents culture and heritage. Island music is what he wants to do, what he loves to do, and what he was born to do. When asked if he felt Urban Island music could be its own genre he responded, “Of course. We deserve our own genre. We can conquer mainstream, but it’s not going to take one of us but all of us. If you think about it, WE ARE mainstream.”
Historically, we are warriors with heart and that is what I want to represent.
Fiji’s longevity in the music game is evident in his true intent to promote culture and heritage and in sharing the island way of life. He wants Pacific Islanders who are trying to establish themselves to know about themselves. “If you’re going to be a Pacific Islander artist,” he said, “represent your culture as much as possible regardless of the style of music. It’s important to put your signature on it.” Songs such as “Sosefina” and “Hey Girl” showcase not only his versatility in native tongues but also his love for the Polynesian people. One of his goals is to release an album that is strictly in the indigenous languages of different islands in the South Pacific. “Historically, we are warriors with heart and that is what I want to represent.”
The humility demonstrated by Fiji was truly impressive. Here is a man who has literally taken the South Pacific by storm yet he considers himself as “just another island boy that loves music and his people.” With all that he has accomplished, Fiji is still giving time to help others get in the game. “I’m just a baker telling folks where the bread is,” Fiji said. “I truly believe how we can survive as a race and as a people is through transition. We have to be in transition, therefore, we can adjust to the times.” We will definitely continue to see Fiji grow and help build the Urban Island sound along the way.
Fiji is smoothly transitioning and undoubtedly adjusting to the demands of the music industry, so it is no wonder why he’s been so popular for over a decade and counting. You can get a hold of Fiji’s latest album Indigenous Life as well as earlier albums on iTunes, online music stores, and at local island stores.
Check out just a few Youtube highlights from Fiji’s 8 albums:
Article Written By: RAEN
YouTube video “Sweet Darling” by maoriShooRTiie
YouTube video “Sereima” by stuckIN801
YouTube video “Come on Over” by crazy808baller
YouTube video “Lia” by stuckIN801
YouTube video “Impossible” by fakevideoman
YouTube video “Indigenous Life” by nesianboy
YouTube video “Smokin’ Session” by matt4cc
YouTube video “Warrior of Love” by SkILLZ
YouTube video “Morning Ride” by crazy808baller
Step 1) You are to list all the Albums of Fiji and name one song of each album that you enjoy the most and explain why
Step 2) Have 20 of your friends to “like” your post
Step 3) First one to do this, wins VIP Tickets to the Reggae Bash on Feb 11, 2012