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Contemporary Rotuman Artists

Harry Tivaknoa

From the Fiji Times Online (9 March 2011)

The other side of Harry

by Paula Tagivetaua

Harry Tivaknoa
Harry Tivaknoa composed a song that became a hit - Dad has gone away

HARRY Tivaknoa is more than an artist.

By profession, the man from the beautiful island of Rotuma is a creative artist.

He paints, designs clothes and earrings and hand bands, but there is another artistic side to the man - he is a song writer, poet and singer.

I did a piece in November about the man and Kapui Kreations - his company - but I have not told you about his musical side.

He has recorded a gospel CD in Rotuman.

All the songs are his own original compositions and sung in his mother tongue.

Toward the end of last year, Harry was working hard on an album he hopes to put out as soon as possible this year.

He was working on it part-time the whole year and everything is coming together.

He said the title of the album was Slow Dance.

It is about popular songs from yesteryear - 10 tracks - gold hits.

He does not want to rush it and has approached an experienced musician on the local scene to help with the mixing and final production before he puts it out on the market in the coming months.

"The songs are popular hits and good for slow dance and reminiscing.

"But importantly, the reason behind recording the songs in the album is to remind us that we need to slow down in life," Harry said.

"Many times we move too fast to reach where we are going and forget some things.

"We have to be practical.

"When we get caught up in life, we lose patience, we lose our cool and it is during those times when we have to take it easy.

"We must never lose our cool."

He gave the example of a coconut farmer to best exemplify the patience men must have.

Patience is a virtue.

"You plant a coconut tree, you have to wait seven years before you can drink and eat from the fruit. That is when the juice will be sweetest.

"You cannot lose patience, otherwise it won't be as sweet."

Harry is also a religious man.

He said he learnt from experience that if you put God first, everything will fall in place.

"Sometimes we should sit down and relate to the Almighty," he pointed out.

Harry started some time back on his other love - music.

He composed a song that became a hit - Dad Has Gone Away.

It became popular and he received a lot of good feedback from people in Kiribati and the Solomons.

"Many people know Dad Has Gone Away and the other songs I composed became popular."

That was way back in 1989 when Harry started recording.

Now, he has recorded albums in his mother tongue and English - songs that are classed as food of love and make the audience want to hear them again and again.

"They say the songs I recorded about 20 years ago paid off in many ways even though the money from those recordings never came to me."

But it came to him by another route - through his creative art and designs company - Kapui - a workshop at Waimanu Road and a shop at Downtown Boulevard.

As his company rolls, Harry doubles as a singer. He has it made by being patient.

Note: Check out his album Afaga

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Contemporary Rotuman Artists