One of Fiji’s latest radio sensation and perhaps reggae band to put out a recording is the Australian based Takia band under the leadership of Mansus Knight.
The band which was formed three years ago has already produced hit tunes like Oi Au We which made a splash in the Suva club scene with its unique Island reggae and island dance music sound.
Mansus, who is the son of George Knight of the band Kabani, says the band is almost a motley crew of musicians from different roots and music genre that united to create original reggae and island dance music.
“The Band was formed to create, record and perform original Island reggae music with an original and different musical flavour,” Mansus says.
Takia consists of Mansus as lead singer, another Fijian, Tom Kaci on keyboards and backing vocals, Bill Seru as lead vocals and Rhythm Guitar and Maori, Daemynn Walker on lead guitar.
Takia is currently performing as an eight piece band with four hired musicians joining the line up to complete their live act which sees them performing gigs at the pubs and niteclubs in Australia.
Mansus and Kaci were both born in Suva while Bill and Daemynn were both born overseas, but they have gelled together to form a band with such a unique sound.
Between them, the band members boast 80 years of combined musical experience with each member having being in the industry for more than a decade or two.
And this is reflective of the band name which was adopted from ancient naval prowess of the iTaukei people with their double hulled canoes.
“We were looking for a powerful and meaningful name and looked at Fijian history and liked the sound and history behind Takia, the first canoes which left Africa and discovered Fiji,” Mansus says.
Apart from Oi Au We, Takia has also produced original songs like Isa Dau Lomani, Mera Dunia, Au Kerea and Kava Girl.
“We write in the spur of the moment, there is no real girl behind any of these songs except for Kava Girl, Daemynn’s girlfriend Kodi, sometimes helps me pour the Kava into the grog cloth and I told her that one day I was going to write a song called Kava Girl and dedicate it to her.
“All songs were written as a collective with lyrics, style, tempo and topic dependant upon the mood of the guys with some family influence,” Mansus says.
Not a bad achievement for a part time band as the members actually having to hold down day jobs in order to pay the bills and put food on the table.
“We all have full time day jobs and dedicate most evenings and weekends to Takia,” Mansus says.
“We have had a very successful world wide marketing campaign on a website called Jango and now have many, many fans from lots of different countries around the world,” Mansus says.
“We are currently in discussion with a Fijian retail outlet and at this stage have not confirmed any new deal.”
The band is currently fundraising to stage a tour of Fiji and they have set a tentative date for late December this year and early January next year.
They hope the tour will be the staging platform they will use to launch their soon to be released album here in Fiji itself and the band will be touring the country as a minimum eight piece band.
They aim to release the album, which still doesn’t have a name yet at the Fiji Day celebrations in Sydney later next month.
But in the meantime, Takia will release a new single called Julumm Julumm Julumm which will be released directly into Fiji at the end of this month.
The inspiration behind the song was the beautiful women of Fiji and it was written by the band as a collective. This song is a dance style island reggae track,” Mansus says.
Apart from that, Mansus says the band will just stick with its original aim, which is to, “write original music, distribute it around the world and also perform all these songs in as many countries and islands as we can reach out to.”