Solo the lyrical genius

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The man behind VT1S hit songs Solo Tikoitoga (centre) flanked by VT1S artists Jay Tauleka (left) and Juben. Picture SUPPLIED

FOR the past two years, artists in the group VT1S, have flooded Fiji’s airwaves with their silky vocals.
The group is renowned for delivering catchy lyrics but not much is known about the mind behind the words of the songs.
The man behind their biggest hit songs is 26-year-old Solo Volau Tikoitoga.
Writing alongside lyrical geniuses like Domo Vou Talei finalist Jay Tauleka and co-winner Peni Roqara – better known as Juben, -Solo has penned more than 10 songs for VT1S since joining the group in early 2022.
He has also written hit songs for renowned local artists Ratu and Billy T and is credited in songs produced by legendary producer Tropic Thunda under the VTBOP music label.
Before starting out as a songwriter, Tikoitoga said his grandfather had first sowed the seeds that resulted in his love for the creative arts.
“I was brought up by my grandfather from class one to class five, so from there I started observing his ways and he loved poetry,” he said.
“So I guess you can say it’s in the bloodline.
“I ended up taking iTaukei language from class one to form seven and continued at university where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Itaukei studies and Geography.”
Since his primary school days, his love for writing has blossomed into writing poetry and short stories.
“After High School, I went to university, where we had to direct dramas, write creative texts and also creative writing.
“As a writer, I write creative text, poems, drama and now I’m a composer.”
Since joining VTBOP, he has been able to tap and take creative writing to another level by bring them to the airwaves.
“I was approached by my friend and work colleague Tix (Korocowiri) who is also a friend of Tropic Thunda.
“He called me one day at 12.30am, I was fast asleep and the first thing he asked me was if I could write songs.
“I told him I could try, he then asked if I could write for VT1S and from thereon, the rest is history.
“I’m happy that VT1S gave me the platform to showcase my talents and love for writing.
“I’ve been writing for so long, it started with just writing poems for the fun of it and fast forward, years later I’m still learning but loving the journey that I’m on.”
Tikoitoga said the story behind most of his songs were often requests made by people who approached him to write songs about the situations in their lives.
“The first song I wrote for VT1S was ‘Buwawa’ and it was for a mother who wanted to write a song for her daughter.
“Parents lived in England while the daughter was in Fiji.
“They wanted me to write a song that could bring them closer together when they heard it,
“So I sat down, strung some words together, drafted and then wrote the song overnight.”
His list of written songs include Vakatabana, Vunitaka, Fika ga, Takasa, Serau, Tatadra, Laveti ,Vakamawe and the newly released Sarava.
“I’m always the man behind the scenes, I don’t want to be in front of it all.
“I’m glad there’s a lot of people out there who don’t even know how to speak the iTaukei language but are listening to VT1S songs.”
Tikoitoga said he was happy to help people understand the iTaukei language and take Fiji music to the world.
“I feel proud because I know my dreams come to life when I hear it live on stage when it’s being sung by the artists.
“It is a different feeling altogether because I know I did a good job and I’m proud.”
His message to young dreamers is to “Chase your dreams and live life to the fullest.”
“Live your life and enjoy.
“Go after your dreams, go after what you love.
“Everyone has a God-given talent, you just have to identify it and make use of it.”

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