Hip-hop in the mix: Mr Grin

FIJIAN hip-hop artistes’ efforts to be recognised in the Fijian music industry are finally bearing some fruit — thanks to the latest move by the Fiji Performing Rights Association to include them into the FPRA music awards to be held in three months’ time.

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Dave Lavaki (Mr Grin) reacts after Fiji Performing Rights Association announced it will include hip-hop during its awards night next month. On the left is FPRA music awards co-ordinator Seru Serevi. Picture: JONA KONATACI

On Friday, FPRA announced a new award category, the best hip hop song,it’s first ever inclusion in the event where local musicians come together to be recognised for their efforts for many years.

And for someone who has been a pioneer of the hip- hop industry for many years, the announcement serves a major recognition and opens up a new window of opportunity for this genre.

Dave Lavaki, or Mr Grin as he is commonly known, said this would allow them to be registered with the sole body, FPRA, and become members themselves.

“I know this is a great opportunity for us as practitioners of hip hop to come forward and for those of us who aren’t registered with FPRA, this is the opportunity and this is another added incentive to become members,” Dave said.

“There has been a lot of effort by hip-hop artistes who have been creating music and over the years they are becoming more and more mainstream and this is just another incentive that will inspire people to continue to produce their work.

“So for the hip-hop community, the actual production — they are also making videos and the whole lot of fashion that goes with it has all sorts of spin-offs from the music itself.

“So an incentive like this not only does it push us hip–hop singers to make more music but it will help us to also encourage all the spin-offs to continue.”

Lavaki said he was happy they had been recognised in this year’s national award and that all other performers of this genre would be proud of this latest move by FPRA.

“For those of us that are not registered with FPRA, please come forward and register your music and submit your songs and we will see who is going to take home the title for this year,” Lavaki added.

FPRA communications officer Lice Movono-Rova said they were excited to be in a position where they would cover all the genres of music in Fiji.

The inclusion of hip-hop music was only possible through the assistance and the sponsorship of a lot of corporate organisations who have come forward and said they will help FPRA to be more inclusive.

“And FPRA being an apolitical organisation which is multi-cultural, multi-lingual and so on and whenever we have the resources we would like to include as many genres as we can,” Movono-Rova said.

“This year we are proud to bring on board the hip-hop community and the hip-hop musicians in this country.

“The producers, the dancers and the people who work in this genre have been working so hard for almost two decades and so we are honoured that one of the major players, Dave Lavaki or Mr Grin as he is commonly known, is here with us today (Friday).”

The music awards will be held on May 14 and a total of 14 major awards will be given out on the night.

By Siteri Sauvakacolo | The Sunday Times, February 07, 2016

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