Homecoming for Samoan stars

By Sarafina Sanerivi 07 July 2016, 12:00AM

From humble beginnings, home grown talent, the OZKI Band, have a global following.  

Today, they have some exciting news for their local supporters. The award-winning band is staging its first concert in Samoa tomorrow night at the Ace of Clubs Nightclub.

The band started with just the two brothers, Auimatagi Gaberiel Faamausili and Galumalemana AJ Faamausili. 

“OZKI started in Australia just before we moved to Samoa in 2011,” said Auimatagi Gaberiel. 

“And we started building from there, and Ete is now the third member.”

The name of the band was formed up by the brother’s mentor and father, Auimatagi Le’aumoana Sia Faamausili. 

“’OZ’ is short for Aussie, which is where the band started and ‘KI’- is short for Kiwi, which is where we were born.”

Their love and passion for music started in church when they were young, said Galumalemana AJ. 

“It all started in church and at home,” he said.  “Our grandfather used to always ask us to ‘ko’ the songs for our evening services back in the days.”

“And that was what inspired us to expose and to spread our talents. It started from church, and we were brought up and taught to use it and spread it as much as we can.”

The band has been performing a number of times in Samoa in the previous years, but this will be their first concert in Samoa come tomorrow night. 

The idea was born out after the band was invited to perform at a Samoan wedding last weekend. 

“We’ve always wanted to have a concert here,” said Galumalemana AJ. 

“We used to perform here in Samoa a lot. But everyone is based overseas now. Gaberiel is in Australia; Josh is in New Zealand, and me and Ete are based here in Samoa. And then we just saw the opportunity when we were opened again for a wedding in the weekend. It’s been a while we played here in Samoa.”

The third member of the crew, Josh Iopu Mase, from the Three Houses Down Band in Auckland said he is excited and looking forward to the concert tomorrow night. 

“It’s always good to come back and perform here in Samoa,” said the powerful guitarist. 

“And it’s always good to back to Samoa and give back to our people, and to showcase our talents. And it might encourage the youth in Samoa in a positive way. To push them to pursue whatever talents they have from God. And it’s good to come back and support my brothers here, because I think Samoa was the platform of where they started, and to see them grow every year ever since they started is just amazing.”

Said the OZKI Band, there is big different between performing here in Samoa and when they perform overseas. 

“Samoa has the toughest crowd,” said Auimatagi Gaberiel. 

“Samoans are observers, I mean they like to party, but they mostly observe the brand when they play, but at the same time, they really appreciating the band. 

“And because we’re from Samoa, we know how it is here. But if a different group from overseas come over and play in Samoa, they would not understand this. It’s a different vibe in terms of crowd.

The fourth member of OZKI is Eteuati Risatisone Reupena, who joined the band two years ago. 

 “These guys are my cousins,” he said. “I was dropping off a keyboard to their house one time and they had a gig on that night, so they asked me to join in.”

Eteuati was also one of the all boys band from the E.F.K.S Tanugamanono who sang the national anthems for Samoa and Tonga during the test match last month, and is also the nephew of Eteuati Ete from Laughing Samoans and Award Winning Musician, Igelese Ete. 

After the concert on Friday, the OZKI band will be looking ahead to their other big shows coming up. 

“We’ve got a tour to American Samoa, and from there, we are planning to go to Hawaii and the United States.

“We’ll be in Savaii soon, because we’ve got families in Savai’I, and we’ve always wanted to have a show in Savai’i.”

The OZKI band had also just released their third CD.

It has ten songs and there is a different message behind each song. 

“For example, “Ou mafaufauga” is one of the songs in the album, and it’s a song dedicated to all the parents and to every parent out there.”

In their last remarks, the OZKI band wanted to thank all their fans, friends and families for their support and for always being there for them.

“We don’t want to mention any names just in case we miss anyone out, but we want to thank all of our friends, families and fans for the great support,” said Auimatagi Le’aumoana Sia Faamausili.

“Special mention to the Malua Theological College, EFKS Malie and EFKS Tanugamanono.”  

Auimatagi Gaberiel Sia Faamausili and Galumalemana AJ Sia Faamausili are from the villages of Malie Vaiala, Faga, Lalomalava, and Safune Savaii.

Josh Iopu Mase is from the villages of Levi Saleimoa, Safotu and Siumu. Eteuati Risatisone Reupena is from the villages of Lalomalava, Fusi Safotulafai, Moata’a and Lepa. 

The concert starts at 7pm tomorrow night. Don’t miss out on this one night show.

By Sarafina Sanerivi 07 July 2016, 12:00AM

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