Talent show giving platform to young artists

A show at a local resort is becoming a harbinger for new talent and giving young artists a platform to perform and get exposure.

The “Local Talent Tuesdays” is hosted by the Taumeasina Island Resort every second Tuesday and is a partnership with the not-for-profit group Brown Girl Woke [B.G.W.].

Lars Gustaf Bell, of Vaitele, and Daniel Koria, of Alafua, are some of the youth who have been performing at the event.

In an interview with the Samoa Observer, Mr. Koria said he likes to rap and write poetry and he has been performing at Taumeasina since the lockdown.

"Rap is poetry with a beat. It's poetry with rhythm," he said. "I was aware that this group puts on these local talent nights, but I wasn't too familiar with them. 

“It wasn't until earlier this year when everything was sort of locked down, I was stuck at home so I was writing poetry at the same time, and then I stumbled across a beat that sort of worked with one of my poems.”

Mr Koria said he started posting his poems on social media, which some of his friends liked and he soon started performing for the show.

The work of American poet and author Rudy Francisco has been an inspiration for the Alafua resident, who revealed that he followed and loved the work of the award-winning poet. 

"I look up to Rudy Francisco. He's really good and I love his work," he added. 

“If you know you write poetry, if you know you have a passion, I started by posting on my social media page, sharing with people and connecting with my words, they feel how I feel at that moment.

"You never know, you might speak to someone through your words and I think it is very important to express yourself as much as you can.”

As for Mr Bell, who goes by the stage name “Escape”, he first performed in a similar event at the Marinas. 

"I have always had a passion for writing. I like song writing," he told the Samoa Observer. 

"I like rap because lyric-wise it is more clever as well as in terms of the references they use.”

When asked if he had a rap artist he looked up to, he said: "I love everyone. Pretty much everyone is something, either a song or a way someone raps. The whole culture itself, hip hop, I am a fan of it all.”

But if he is to pick a rap artist he follows it would probably be American rapper Royce da 5’9”.

Using social media to show your talent should not be downplayed, according to Mr Bell, who urged youth with talent to post their work.

"Put yourself out there, you never know who's listening or just passing through your page, just post your stuff,” he added. "You never know who might be a fan viewing your stuff and hoping you release new stuff.”

Taumeasina Island Resort General Manager, Tuiataga Nathan Bucknall, told the Samoa Observer that the resort’s hosting of the show is part of a long-term partnership with the B.G.W. founder Maluselu Doris Tufilau and they are happy to support local talent.

“We have had a long term relationship with Doris Tulifau, and Brown Girl Woke, they do amazing things here in Samoa, and in the community as a whole,” he said in an email response. “We approached Doris some months back and suggested the idea, and B.G.W. was more than happy to come on board.

“It is great to support the local talent here in Samoa and also the good work that Doris and team do at B.G.W. 

“It is a good platform for the young talent, as we believe that a few of these young talented people have landed some paid performances after being seen performing at Taumeasina Island Resort.”

The Local Talent Tuesdays is hosted by the resort every second Tuesday night at the Manu Bar starting from 7pm.

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