ELECTRIC dance music is not a style they are synonymous with, having won national music awards for vude.
But doing something different was exactly what motivated Nasio Domoni’s foray into a new direction on their latest track.
The band, whose origins are in Macuata, Vanua Levu, is better known for iTaukei reggae and a combination of vude and country and they have had much success with these styles.
It’s an identity which has won them the Fiji Performing Rights Award’s music award for Best iTaukei song in 2016 and 2017, as well as the premier award at the FPRAMAs, the Best Composition Award in 2017.
Band leader and the person behind most of Nasio’s compositions as well as its creative direction, Tuvera Tuamoto, is not one to rest on laurels.
So when he realised that techno beats, Pacific harmonies and percussions were making a huge mark on local airwaves and clubs, the concept for Noqu Lewa was born.
Released in the second week of February, the track introduction has been in keeping with what made the band famous several years ago, that is to release hit songs via tracks sent to radio stations and via music video on social media.
It’s a method the band used in 2014 with the release of Sobo Au Dau Diva, which quickly flew up the charts and then again with Na Veikilai Mosimosi (Best iTaukei Song 2016) and Senikakala (Best iTaukei Song 2017).
In just over a week Noqu Lewa has gathered organic reaches of over 10,000 views on Facebook and 3000 on Youtube, not an easy feat for any local band.
Watch the video here:
While the group has performed with other artists before, most of Nasio’s hits have been their own work.
Noqu Lewa, however, is a collaboration with local beatmaker George Wasile, upcoming iTaukei band Paradise Rootz and producer Wilo Teddy Usuramo.
Heavy on the island fusion, the track is produced by FPRA award winner Wasile, also known as Tropic Thunda, whose local hip hop success won him a FPRAMAs in 2016.
“I was just listening to some upbeat island songs and thought of producing something similar with iTaukei lyrics,” Tuamoto said.
“Thunda produced similar beats so I had a chat with him if he could cook up something I had in mind. The song proved to be a success with Wilo’s catchy rapping adding the final touch to the song.”
Initially planned for the 2017 festive season, the band got caught up and did not make the deadline.
Band members ? Tukeni Sucuvou, Jofiliti Sucuvou, Rupeni Tuimavana, Josateki Kunadua and Tuverea Tuamoto ? all have day jobs so they couldn’t complete final editing of the track for the party season.
Despite its large iTaukei identity and fan base, Nasio Domoni has always had a foundation based on Solomon Islands reggae beats and rhythms, probably a natural progression given they are backed by the Solomons-based Young Davie Records.
That wantok musical collaboration continued on this track with the inclusion rap in the track by the young Usuramo, who is also of Solomon Islands descent.
“I used to hear them practise and sing during grog sessions at Seru’s house. And boy, I became a fan. So I told myself one day, I will feature with Nasio Domoni. And that was back in 2012. Now imagine my excitement being called by Seta of Paradise Rootz to feature with Nasio Domoni!” Usuramo said.
“I was so excited I could not believe it. Within minutes, they sent me the music bed and I wrote my verse within 30 minutes.
“As soon as Thunda, who is the music producer of Noqu Lewa, told me he was free, Seta and I went down to the studio, met Nasio Domoni and I smack my verse.
“Nasio was so excited! We all were excited. This is new for them and also for me!”
“I like the fact that they took the move to be different with their music, to spark a difference.”
Credited with changing the image of ballads on the iTaukei music scene, Nasio has steadily gained the respect of many in the industry, having combined professionalism with creativity to create new sounds for their romance lyrics.
But like every other iTaukei musical great before them, the band has kept their concepts simple in that all their hit songs are about love.
“The lyrics are an important part of the music that we produce and makes listeners relate it to their struggles and Noqu Lewa talks about the love couples share through smooth and rough waters.
“It talks about the never ending love for one another even after so many years of marriage. The love just grows stronger and feels just like your first time together,” said Tuverea.
The band leader said fans could expect more new releases from Nasio Domoni as they worked towards the release of their latest album Vaka me veilaroi.
The title track Vaka Me Veilaroi was released in July 2017 and has more than 300,000 views on Youtube.
Noqu Lewa was shot by Paradise Rootz, Nasio Records and SeeSaw Productions and produced by Wilo under the Sleeplezz Linkz label.