In this day and age, dreams to become a worldwide superstar or just to have your voice heard in another country is no longer unattainable – you have the social media to thank for that. Artists have caught on to the phenomenon and are using the Internet to their advantage. One success story made possible through YouTube is Polynesian singer Teki. Earlier this week, singer Dinah Jane was featured and won his Song Cover Contest. Now get to know a little more about Teki Fakalata, his rise to fame, his thoughts on the recent Cover Contest, and the song on YouTube that started it all.
“Get to Know You” almost never was.
The song that jumpstarted Teki’s career was never really meant to be released as a song. Teki explained, “It was actually just a verse for a hook for L Cackel,” a music group based in Salt Lake City, UT. The collaboration with the group for the song so Teki kept his part and finished what we all know now as “Get to Know You.”
Teki first recorded “Get to Know You” on YouTube back in July of 2007. The feedback from viewers was overwhelming yet so positive – they loved it! Not even a few months after the video went viral, fans were performing covers of the song and posting them on YouTube as well. Currently, there are over eighty covers of Teki’s songs – half of those for his “Get to Know You” hit, amounting to over a million views. The catchy melody with its laid-back beat attracted many fans and caught on fire instantly.
Bologna Fungi and Debut Album
Teki’s success just from his YouTube videos led him to sign with Bologna Fungi, a management team from Salt Lake County. This team helped Teki further his musical career and gain an even greater fan base by pushing even more social media tactics. From uploading music clips on MySpace, to filming and posting behind-the-scenes footage of Teki in the studio on YouTube, and creating a fan page on Facebook, Bologna Fungi made sure that fans were kept up-to-date with the latest information. “Get to Know You” was finally released as a single in the summer of 2009 and his debut album, “I Wanna Luv,” was released the following summer. The album featured twelve songs and collaborations with Poly artists Nela Otuafi, Olaea Iosua, Cheka Ngatuvai, and Jackson County. “I Wanna Luv” was a success; Teki was soon out on the road performing in California, Texas, Oregon, Hawaii, and Nevada. Two songs from the album were also featured on VH1’s hit show, “What Chilli Wants.” Nothing says success more than having your song on a television show viewed by millions nationwide!
Teki Cover Song Contest
“The idea was originally Wes’ [Puloka of Puloka Productions] and my management team’s,” said Teki. Because of all the covers that were done, Puloka and Bolonga Fungi wanted to make a contest out while showcasing talent across the world. We found Teki through YouTube so why not find even more talent? Over twenty singing hopefuls from all over the world entered the contest and brought their A-game – they were all in it to win it. Teki was so amazed at the level of talent for this contest, saying, “A lot of them did a better job than me [laughs]!” In the end, the people got to vote for their favorite cover. The winner of the contest was 13-year-old Dinah Jane from Orange County, CA.
Ready for the Future
Teki has established himself as a music artist that holds true to his Island roots while embracing the influences of the American music culture. He takes this into heart while working on his second album which he anticipates will come out by the end of this year. More importantly, Teki’s rise to fame solely through the Internet is a testament to those who aspire to be singers as well. It doesn’t have to be a dream anymore – make it reality.
Article Written By: Pesi Kava
*Photos courtesy of Teki
*YouTube video courtesy of Puloka Productions
*YouTube video courtesy of Bolonga Fungi
*YouTube video courtesy of Dinah Jane