Good music during trying times

The Fiji Suva Musicians Club take a break from their usual gig practice. Picture: ANA MADIGIBULI

Paying rents, putting food on the table, paying for school bus fares, forking out money for bills and meeting family obligations are just the tip of the iceberg for some people during this Covid-19 pandemic period.

People who’ve lost jobs because of the pandemic have had to re-evaluate their way of living as to cater for their daily expenses with some struggling to make ends meet.

One of those groups of people are musicians whose jobs have come to a standstill because gigs have been deferred indeterminately.

Some of those affected during this trying time are musicians who do gigs in resorts and nightclubs daily.

To cushion the effect of the pandemic crisis, a group of musicians have quickly come together to form a club Fiji Suva Musicians Club that can assist grassroots musicians who have been critically affected by the pandemic.

In order to get these musicians back on their feet, the club has come up with alternative ways to raise funds for them.

Club president Waisiliva Baledrokadroka said the club was all about getting grassroots musicians and artists together who have either lost their jobs or are finding it hard to cope with expenses during the pandemic period.

“It’s about time we created a club where we can come together and just bond over our love for music and raise funds for each other,” he said.

“At the moment we have 39 club members and we are hopeful that we will get other artists to join.

“Even though this pandemic has affected our livelihood, it has also made us stronger because we have come together to work towards a common good.”

He said currently there isn’t enough work available for musicians around the country.

“These past few months we have tried to do something for ourselves like our curry night or kava barrel events that can raise funds for musicians,” he said.

“If we stand together and be united we can definitely go far.

“Even though most of us have lost jobs this is something we can benefit from. Not only are we raising funds for ourselves we also want to give back to the communities.

“We have friends supporting us from Dubai, Australia, England, New Zealand, the United States of America and other parts of the world who are connected to us through music.

“Listening to good music during these trying times can help us forget about our worries.”

He said they also hoped to raise funds to get equipment and instruments for music artists.

“Most of us don’t even have our own instruments and equipment and we cannot demand good money if we don’t have those resources with us,” he said.

“Like a farmer, you go with your cane knife. For us, we need to go with our instruments or equipment in order to play.”

He said there are many reasons for creating the club, but most importantly it was just to develop their music and bring artists and their families together during the pandemic.

“In order to achieve something great we hope to work together and support each other better,” he said.

Club events co-ordinator Clare Fong said the club also had a few events planned out for its members as part of its community outreach program.

“Looking at how the nightclubs and some resorts won’t be opening or operating soon we hope to raise funds for the family of musicians who have been affected.

“Right now musicians’ jobs are all on the line and all we can do is work together. We have people supporting us financially during this time and we are grateful to them”

She said they hope to look after the welfare of families of musicians who have passed on and to visit them.

“We have done one visitation and we have eleven other families we hope to visit in the future.”

She said the club is also looking to do entertainment at the Old People’s Home, and do  clean-ups at a beachfront or orphanage and provide lunches for the less fortunate on the streets on a Sunday.

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