Vanuatu music appreciated in Suva
By Tony Ligo - The Independent
Posted Wednesday, July 6, 2005
More than four thousand people turned out for the Fete de la musique concert at the Civic Centre car park in Suva last week to watch two of the Pacific's rising talent perform, Fediz from New Caledonia and Vanessa Quai from Vanuatu.
"The place was packed and the crowd was silent until Vanessa stepped on stage when everyone stood and danced, even after her one hour performance the crowd kept requesting 'Freedom', the young songstress' most popular track in Fiji," said a Vanuatu student, who is currently studying in Fiji, over the phone.
Speaking to The Independent Friday morning, Vanessa's dad and manager, Nigel Quai revealed the impact of Vanuatu music on Fiji after that visit.
This is the first time a Vanuatu artist was invited to participate in Fete de la Musique outside the country and according to the Alliance Française director in Suva, she was invited back for the 2006 edition and the Melanesian Arts Festival there.
Vanessa's impact in Fiji comes in two fold first as a part Fijian through her mother and second through her songs in Fijian language. "Fijians love songs in their language and Vanessa was able to deliver some of her best songs in Fijians which helped win over fans there," explained her dad.
"Throughout our stay popular musicians such as Laisa Vulikoro, Simoni Vuatalevu and young artists came and spend time with us because they were interested to know how Vanuatu musicians are doing so well, and are now interested in coming over to participate in our festivals," said Nigel.
During her tour Vanessa covered most of the major media in Suva, was front page on both Fiji Times and Fiji Sun, went on prime time at Fiji 1 TV and the Christian network, also featured in interviews with Fiji Gold, FM 96 and the USP-run FM station.
"The reason she is popular there, she also represents Fiji music to the world as well as Vanuatu and is an ambassador for Pacific music," said the Suva director for Alliance Française.
The young singer's dad and manager conveyed a thank you note for those who helped make this recent trip a success; "We would like to extend our sincere thanks to the Vanuatu community association and students in Suva for welcoming Vanessa with a meet and greet party, the minister of ni-Vanuatu Joshua Kalsakau and his delegation for their presence, Vanessa's Fijian families for their welcome and hospitality and especially Alliance Française Suva for being the perfect hosts and in particular Vanessa's fans in Fiji for their support throughout."