A lifetime opportunity | Bobby Yoyo rubs shoulders with Bollywood stars

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Bobby Yoyo with Johnny Lever (far right) at the event in Auckland. Picture: SUPPLIED

Twenty one years ago singer Bobby ‘Yoyo’ attended a show in Auckland, New Zealand. And he recently returned there in October to team up with some of Bollywood’s talented performers.

For Bobby, the years have given him a bird’s eye view of the music business and how much things have changed for the better.

Rubbing shoulders with Bollywood singers and actors was a lifetime opportunity for Bobby who featured in the Dhamaka Concert in Auckland as part of the Fiji Day celebrations there.

Appearing in a few shows with well-known Bollywood comedian Jimmy Moses and his daughter Jamie Lever, Bobby considers the opportunity a huge blessing.

“I have been singing for more than two decades and performing in shows, including local comedy shows where we tell funny stories in between songs,” he said.

“But to appear with the world’s best and Bollywood’s most popular comedians, was an opportunity of a lifetime because I got to learn new things.”

He described the stars from India as very humble, very nice people “and they taught me to just enjoy the show and be myself”.

“For me, that’s very important because we keep learning everyday in our respective careers and for me it’s my career as a musician.”

The event, which happened in October as part of the Fiji Day celebrations in Auckland, had other international singer s, many of who are former Fiji residents. This experience, Bobby said, broadened his understanding of what international music and entertainment is about.

“We learn new things everyday and even after singing for almost three decades, I am still learning from the best in the world,” he said.

“Spending the night with these Bollywood stars was a totally different level for me. I only see them on television but being with them on the same stage is something I still can’t believe.

“I was joined by other former Labasa residents, but one thing I learnt is that people’s taste in music has changed a lot.”

When Bobby attended that Auckland show 21 years ago, the crowd then was totally different.

“That was back in the year 2000 and the crowd was more into slow groovy music and they sang along with us,” he said.

“Not many people would attend and only a certain age group, more of the older ones.

“But with this recent trip, oh my god, the crowd was huge and more young people attended. And their taste of music was totally different from that in 2000.

“The crowd nowadays wants fast music with fancy beats, and the tune as well has to be upbeat and modern.”

This experience, Bobby said, has taught him much about music.

“And it’s not only in NZ but in Fiji too, even here right home in Labasa, the taste of music is changing with the different age groups.

“Music nowadays is a mixture of both, not just Hindi music, but English as well because that’s the taste of today’s generation and it’s this group that buys our music a lot.”

Knowing that the taste of music among his listeners has changed, Bobby has had to make changes as well. Since returning from NZ, he has changed his approach towards creating songs.

“I now make sure that the songs I write or the show I do at events will attract the people,” he said.

“Most of the shows I do or events I sing at are usually on the weekend, so whatever I do, I need to make sure it attracts people.

“And it’s not easy because we are at an age that is certainly not the same as this generation. Our children are this generation so, yes, I also work with my family to help me out.”

At the Auckland event, Bobby was joined by former Labasa residents and with their presence, he used the platform to promote Fiji.

“They may have moved out of Fiji but this nation remains in their hearts, so when we sang, we shared stories of this beautiful island,” he said.

“We told everyone there to come and visit Fiji, especially the island of Vanua Levu, so they can hear the different types of songs we have, including cultural songs.”

Bobby has become famous with former Fiji residents in Auckland and some have booked his services for this festive season.

“These are people coming in for holiday in Vanua Levu and they have paid me to sing at their Christmas events including weddings, birthdays and parties,” he said.

“So, going to NZ was a very good thing because I got exposed to a different kind of music, now I know what the crowd of today wants and what beats to include in the music.

“That is very important and I am glad I got to share the stage with international singers and comedians because that has helped me greatly.”

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