The sounds of Samoan band, Punialava’a, has been established for 50 years so far and are in the peak of their career. They were recently the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, at the 2018 Vodafone Pacific Music Awards, recognizing their contribution to Pacific music and their influence on artists in Samoan, New Zealand and around the world.
The tunes and lyrics of Punialava’a are celebrated and appreciated by all age groups with its classical island touch. They are continuing to produce fine music after more than five decades with more new originals. Punialava’a hopes to bring awareness about themselves, their families, their society and their future.
This past May the iconic Samoan band said they are proud that their music can be used to help encourage the use of Gagana Samoa. In fact the influential band was recently recognized at the 2019 Pacific Music Awards – winning this year’s Best Language Award.
Band member, Nanai Viellani Lale Peteru, said they were proud to promote their culture. “We appreciate the acknowledgement of Punialava’a helping with Samoan language through poetry, as well as lyrics. “The emphasis with the lyrics, they’re generally used in Samoa for schools for education syllabus – for their studies in breaking down the language and explaining the grammars and all,” he said. “We’re very fortunate to have our music being used for education purposes.”
Nanai said they were proud of their humble beginnings. “Our dad started it off in 1968. He wrote his first song and then he met our mother in 1980 and they carried on the singing and writing – songwriting,” he said. “And then we came along and we’re carrying it forward. Our brother, Puni, is the one that God has blessed with the writing techniques of the lyrics and music with of course my help – just kidding.”
For Puni Lale Peteru, he would like to see more young Pacific islanders showcasing their talents in the arts and music. He also urged them to not forget their heritage. “You know just be true to yourself and your identity. Remember who you are. We live in New Zealand but we remember where we come from? Our whanau at home.”