Tuesday, June 3, 2008

MEET MELISSA RAIVOTU OF NADI

YES, it's that time of the year again ... when the nation's greatest bathroom singers actually step out from under the shower and into the spotlight with microphone in hand to show they really can croon as well as whoever they idolise.
This is your chance to be Bob Marley, Beyonce or simply beyond belief.
Who knows, it could open a career path much in the way rugby has allowed Seru Rabeni, Akapusi Qera, Kele Leawere, Seremaia Bai, Vilimoni Delasau, Mosese Rauluni and all our other heroes to ply their trade on world stage.
The only difference is that right now it is not all or only about the money, although there is a some to be had, $500 actually.
This is all about simply showing you've got what it takes to cut it as a vocalist.
It is the third annual vocalist talent quest organised by the Alliance Fran├żaise de Suva as a build-up to the much looked forward to Fiji Music Festival.
Fiji's Mister Music, the right Reverend James Bhagwan, has voluntarily taken the competition by scruff of its neck to coordinate the quest being held in partnership with Dragon Music, and FM96, FM Legend and Viti FM.
The man of god simply wants us suitably warmed up as the season gets colder — a mid-winter warmth more people are now appreciating.
As Bhagwan says, "the objective is to give the opportunity to young people from 9-25 years to raise their voices and show their emerging talents".
Everyone has sang in the bathroom and some have gone even further.
Melissa Raivotu stole the show last year with her rendition of Beyonce's Listen, from the movie Dreamgirls.
Although now based in Nadi, Melissa confirmed she is definitely keen to be in. "I'll probably do something from Alicia Keys," she said.
But if you want to heat up the competition, you have to register by 4pm Tuesday, yes this Tuesday as auditions start on Saturday.
That will be held at the Alliance Fran├żaise, on MacGregor Road and at the Suva Civic Centre on Friday the 13th.
The grand final will be held at Sukuna Park on June 21 as part of the Fiji Music Festival.
In the audition, everyone sings a cappella before planning begins to get the proper soundtrack for the heats.
The final 20 will be backed by a live band. There is no entry fee and everyone will be allowed to sing in their vernacular.
"We've done that because in past years we said English and many people who wanted to sing in Fijian or Hindi missed out," Bhagwan said.
"By vernacular we mean people are welcome to sing in the language they are most comfortable in," he said.
"We're just opening the door to the untapped potential we have ... people can sing whatever they want," he stressed.
Bhagwan expects over 100 entries, most of them making their first outing on stage. And, that's the sweetest part about it all — one does not have to be a professional singer or have aspirations to rock the world.
It is simply about singing and having fun. Who knows the Vocalist Talent Quest may turn up a Leona Lewis and perhaps one day give us a truly global icon to adore and mimic.
The panel of judges includes award-winning composer Saimone Vuatalevu and broadcasters from FM96, FMLegend and Viti FM. Entry forms are available at the Alliance Francaise on MacGregor Road, The Boom Box, Dragon Music and FM96-Legend FM. See entry forms for details, or call the Alliance on 3313802. Remember, you have to be in to win so come we go chant down Babylon.


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