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Aggie Vakaloloma

Aggie Vakaloloma is a Fijian Musician

You can contact her here
POWER, soul, sass and life — Akanisi Vakaloloma, fondly known as Aggie, has it all.

The Fijian vocal powerhouse, originally from Tavualevu Village in Tavua, is fast becoming a sensation in the local music industry with her captivating voice.

And it’s not just her rich vocals and vibrato that wows any crowd, anyone watching her live performances would be drawn to her pantomine and stage show.

This was evident when she belts out the iTaukei rendition of Blue Bayou or the classical vude song Ru Tayabe.

For someone who was raised in a family with a diverse musical background, 34-year-old Vakaloloma’s life and upbringing basically evolved around music.

“I’m from a musical family. I’m related to the Waikoula kei Tavua, one of Fiji’s classical iTaukei music groups,” Vakaloloma told this newspaper in an interview.

“My mother was also part of a small music group too while I started off singing in our church choir.

“I attended LDS College where the eminent music teacher Master Laisiasa Veikoso taught and guided me in music.”

It wasn’t until 2009 that Vakaloloma started her professional music journey, performing gigs in hotels, resorts and some of the popular nightspots in Suva.

“At one time I went to a funeral in Narewa, Nadi, and we were singing when this Fijian composer, the late Rusiate Levula, heard my voice and asked me if I wanted to sing in hotels,” Vakaloloma said.

“I was like hesitant at first as I had the attitude but I didn’t have the boldness and confidence to stand and sing in front of a crowd.”

After spending three months performing gigs at the Wyndham Resort on Denarau Island, Vakaloloma then moved on to performing at private functions including her regular gigs at Wrecktangles nightclub and Kick-off Bar in Suva.

“Mostly when I sang at the hotel, I sang blues and jazz from the likes of Aretha Franklin and Natalie Cole but now I mostly sing vude in the clubs,” Vakaloloma said.

“I miss jazz and blues because it really digs up the inner texture of my voice. Also when I sing covers, I try to make it my own as possible and I twist it in such a way that is unique.”

After having a grasp of the local music industry, Vakaloloma started touring overseas with her first international outings in the US, performing for the Fijian communities during special occasions such as Fiji Day.

She recently returned from her second tour in San Francisco, California after six months there.

Vakaloloma was also a part of the Fijian delegation that went to the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts in Guam last year, performing with Hope Fiji band alongside Fijians artistes such as Savuto and TUA (Isireli Mainavukea).

But her journey was not so easy, as she faced her fair share of challenges, both professionally and personal.

“I am inspired to sing because I love it and it’s my passion,” Vakaloloma said.

“Being a single mother to two children, I faced hardships along the way. So when I sing, I forget everything and drown my worries in the moment.

“It’s been my safe haven, I was brought up by my mother alone and now I am a single mother so it’s been hard.”

Vakaloloma has also had to make ends meet in the music scenery, going against the male dominated music industry in Fiji.

“The industry is a male dominated industry so you’ve got to hustle for it,” she said.

“As an independent and freelance artiste, I have to work extra hard and plus I am blessed with only singing and not songwriting.

“I am still trying and learning also how to play instruments so I can be a bit more versatile.”

Vakaloloma released her debut single last year titled Na Luvequ, now available on iTunes, written by her and a friend which was inspired by the life of her cousin.

“My new single was all about my cousin who was also a single mother and so it was a bit easy to sing and write with my friend,” Vakaloloma said.

“Although I felt a few emotions singing this song, the people who knew me, they thought it was my own because of the experience I was going through.”

– This article appeared in the Fiji Times October 12, 2017.

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