Way to go - a recording studio for Labasa. There are some good Fijian singing groups in Labasa as well as soloists who sing qawali. Several years ago I studied the music of Labasa and taped hundreds of different songs - not for commercial use though as it was for a research project.
A version of this story was in the Fiji Times in May, even the same picture. Well, we all sometimes repeat ourselves!
from today's Fiji Times.
Music is the way to go
Friday, July 04, 2008
THE only recording studio in Labasa Town has become a favourite spot for local singers who had previously struggled to expose their singing talents because of financial constraints. Viliame Rabuka's recording studio, which opened early this year has bloomed and recorded about 10 albums of singers in the Northern Division.
Mr Rabuka who is from Namoli Village in Batinikama outside Labasa Town opened the studio after seeing what he felt was a "great need in the area" when he came for a holiday.
"For me it was about helping the people back home who have great talents in singing and playing music and this was something I saw during my visit back home so with the little money I had, I started the new studio," he said. "But it saddened me to learn that most of these talents were not exposed because there was no recording studio in Labasa or any town in the north," Mr Rabuka said. "Groups of singers or musicians could not afford to travel to Suva to record their new albums because it cost them big money and most of them are farmers and not working which made it difficult." Mr Rabuka said after seeing what the people in the north faced especially people from his village, he felt for them and decided to help expose their talents.
"I have experience in this field and after seeing the demand for such business in Labasa, I decided to stay on and I have seen an increase in bookings from music groups on a daily basis," he said.
Mr Rabuka said the first group to record an album with him was a group from his village, known as Suka Vulavula ni Lomai Labasa. Mr Rabuka plans to expand his studio business and plans to offer more opportunities for demanding customers in the division.