Urban sound pioneer to grace the stage

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Dave ‘Mr Grin’ Lavaki (centre) with Sunia Soko Loga (left) and Phil Dakei during a break from Domo Vou Talei rehearsals. He is preparing to set the stage alight at the Woodstock Uprising Music Festival on October 7. Picture: FELIX CHAUDHARY

Dave “Mr Grin” Lavaki was a lyrical twister back when hip-hop wasn’t even a thing in Fiji.

Together with Sammy “Grogfather” G, he pioneered the urban sound and was the catalyst that drove the cultural explosion with songs like Suva City.

He was immersed in hip-hop culture from 2008 and continues to be the driving force behind the genre today with hip-hop pop-up events in collaboration with Samoan-Fijian Australian artist MC Trey and Fiji’s pre-eminent turntable master DJ Christonite.

However, over the past few weeks, Mr Grin has been lending his decade and a half of experience in the music scene to the 10 finalists of the 2023 Domo Vou Talei original song contest.

On the back of his production company FirstFighter, “Mr Grin” is in the process of shooting the finalists music videos and is thrilled at the emerging new talent coming out of the competition.

On Saturday October 7, music lovers will not only get to watch the 10 finalists perform their original songs, they will also get to witness the inimitable talent of Mr Grin on stage alongside artists like Wilo, Drixstar and DJ Christonite.

To secure your tickets now, visit https://www.ticketmax.com.fj/DTBNP Alternatively you can purchase tickets at Ginger Kitchen, Fiji Museum, Suva, (Ph 8366581), Niu Grillz, Fiji Golf Club, Suva, (Ph 2787782), Damodar Cinemas, Grantham Rd, Suva, (Ph 9923073), Uprising Beach Resort, Pacific Harbour, (Ph 345 2200) and GingerLei Beer Fiji, Wailoaloa Rd, Nadi, (Ph 9260502).

Domo Vou Talei is the brainchild of the Australian High Commission.

The finalists are being vocally prepared by award-winning artist Sunia Soko Loga and their original songs are being produced by legendary producer Phil Dakei at Tiny Sounds Studio in Suva.

The winner will walk away with $5000 courtesy of Westpac, the People’s Choice Award winner scoops $3000 courtesy of The Fiji Times and the Best Performance Award winner will get $1000 courtesy of Kaila!