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The Man Behind the FIYA » Goofy Saffings

Music 27 Apr 2011   »   by TheWhatItDo

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.
~ Bob Marley

The WhatItDo had exclusive access to the man behind the music, Earnest “Goofy” Saffings. He is responsible for some of the greatest sounds in Island and Reggae music. With a list of collaborations that would easily take pages to fill, Goofy has worked behind the beats and sounds of many Urban Island artists like Fiji and BET. He’s also worked with many underground and upcoming music artists from the Bay Area and the rest of the U.S.

Goofy hails from Union City, CA and comes from a very musically inclined family. From birth, music has always been in his life. “Music is in me,” Goofy says, “it’s a part of me. I don’t love it, I don’t hate it, nor can I change it. Music is like my hand – it’s a part of me and do with it what I’m supposed to.” He started playing drums in night clubs for his uncle at a young age and then became a member of the Reggae band, the Mission Iriez. The group was short-lived and split in 1998, but Goofy continued to explore the entertainment business by performing, recording and, eventually, producing music. He is an all-around musician, playing multiple instruments and navigating through the studio like a boss! Once his talents took flight, other artists came like a blitz! He’s travelled internationally, catering to the needs of seasoned and upcoming artists and has been doing that for over fifteen years. Unfortunately, Goofy has not been compensated what he deserves and has provided consultation, music and expertise “on the house.” He feels that he didn’t pay for his talent so why should he charge others?

In 2003, Goofy established Fambillion Productions. The name ‘Fambillion’ reflects his love for his family and music. Goofy’s perception of his contribution to music is unique. The concept was conceived from Bob Marley’s bass player, Aston “Family Man” Barrett, who wouldn’t sign his contract to be a band member but would only sign on as a partner. Goofy is professional and approaches his affiliation with different artists as a partner and not as a producer. This is to ensure that he contributes exactly what the artist wants.

When asked, ‘What does being Tongan mean to you?’, Goofy’s response was, “It means today; right now,” with the belief this is their time and is committing to the movement of building the people. He’s released compilation albums with remixed traditional Tongan songs and added Reggae beats to them; Goofy doesn’t change the singing or the original sound of the songs – he simply enhances them. The WhatItDo asked why he did that to the songs. Goofy’s response was, “Education. I want to educate the youngsters about their heritage which can be found in our traditional music. I add sounds they’re familiar with to the songs and it becomes something they can listen to. By doing this, I’m connecting the generations.”

Goofy is still working with different artists, performing, and producing. When asked who he is interested in working with in the future, Goofy exclaimed, “My kids! They’re bad!” He is truly a humble dragon. He is reserved, quiet, and doesn’t like attention drawn to him but when you hear his music, it’s FIYA! At the end of the day, Goofy is not the most popular name you hear in Urban Island music but just ask the front-runners in the game. They know who he is. Now WhatItDo?

Article Written By: RAEN

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