FRENCH POLYNESIA’S FENUA GROUP SUCCEEDS IN FRANCE

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PAPE‘ETE, French Polynesia (August 23, 1999 - PINA Nius Online)---The French Polynesian group, Fenua, is set to pass the 100,000 records barrier for record exports by the end of the year, having done very well this summer in the French Top 50, the daily newspaper La Dépêche de Tahiti reports.

The group's success, through a popular mix of Polynesian traditional tunes and modern rhythms, is seen here as a first, paving the way for French Polynesian artists to become increasingly popular overseas and leave once and for all their cultural "paradise image " stereotype.

"Fenua" and their production company, Universal Music, invested a lot in their latest album, including producing their hit single, "E Vahine Maohie."

They toured in France last June, were featured on French television's most popular entertainment programs and finally made it to the Top 50, which rates artists according to their weekly record sales.

"At one stage, we were ahead of Ricky Martin in the French charts. Fenua's whole album, not just the single, remained in the Top 50 for eight weeks," Océane production manager Eric Laroche said.

Fenua's music really holds development potential in France, and also in the rest of Europe," a Universal Music spokesman said.

The company sees the success as a sign that Polynesian music is starting to become a long-term, durable phenomenon.

"We've been trying to find our place on the export, international market for five years. This success shows we're now on the right track," Laroche said.

Universal is planning another promotional tour for Fenua later in the year to push sales for another single selected from the same album.

This bulletin was produced by the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA). Editor: Patrick Antoine Decloitre For more information, contact Nina Ratulele, PINA Administrator, at pina@is.com.fj

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