It’s been three years since George “Fiji” Feikoso has performed in Orange County. While best known as an island reggae vocalist, songwriter & producer because of the influence he’s had on the genre, it’s hard to classify the 47-year-old artist as simply “reggae” when his 23 year solo career stretches everywhere from smooth soul music on projects like Born And Raised II; The Rebirth to straight hardcore hip-hop tracks on projects like Indigenous Life. But no matter where his creativity takes him, you can always hear the pacific island influence on his sound and his name lets you know exactly where he comes from.
“Being that we were a tourist attraction, there was all types of music to listen to,” Fiji says. “I was raised on a lot of old school, church music, gospel, R&B and everything from blues to jazz. I really took it all in and then I tried to refine all that through my voice.”
Born and raised in Fiji until the age of 13, Veikoso then moved to Hawaii where he would continue to be influenced by the islands music. He took on his name to remind himself of where he comes from and dropped his first album Evolution in 1994 which is probably the most ’90s island hip-hop sounding album in existence. He then went on to release his most popular album Born And Raised which is considered a highly influential album helping define his genre and earned him awards such as the Na Hoku HanoHano Award for Male Vocalist of The Year. His label Island Empire records is re-releasing Born And Raised in honor of it’s 20th anniversary and he is excited to see how the album will do now in a digital era.
Since the release of Born And Raised, Fiji has dropped six diverse albums and one EP showcasing his abilities to stretch Polynesian music as far as he can take it. Now as an elder in the scene, he’s shown his devotion by helping bring up other artists such as Compton’s J Boog and encouraging Polynesian unity through the Tokouso Movement. Fiji feels the positive perspective and promotion of love is what separates island music from other music and it’s currently evolving even here in OC with acts like Common Kings. But don’t think for a second he’s anywhere near finished as he’s currently working on a new album which he hopes will be out by 2018. It’s about halfway finished and he’s taking his time with the record “making sure each song is a home run.”
“I’m getting to a new era and that’s what this new record is all about.” Fiji says, “It’s about those moves you have to make to stay ahead…I think as an artist it’s always important to continue evolving. That’s what I’ve tried to do with my writing and production. I think musically we’re going to have to push further because the kids aren’t relating now.”
Fiji continues to bring his powerful positive energy to the stage and get the crowds to be on the same vibrations as him like when he recently got the entire crowd at a recent New Zealand show to sing his song Chant Of The Islands along with him. He is excited to play in OC again because it always reminds him of Hawaii and looks forward to the always wonderful shows he has here. Fiji maintains he is still delivering the best shows possible to his fans.
“They can always expect me to get better.” he says. “I’m a constant learner, I’m always humbled by anything in music, from great music to writing and that’s the fuel to my fire. One thing that will never change is I will continue to be a proud Polynesian artist and I will always represent my people, my island, my music.”