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SUVA, Fiji Islands (October 27, 2001 - Fiji’s Daily Post/FijiLive)---Fijian musicians need to produce more original music, with a distinctive traditional base to be recognized by the rest of the world.

These were the words of accomplished local artist Saimone Vuatalevu during the launching of his latest album, My Originals, on Thursday night.

Mr. Vuatalevu's latest album is the first of two albums contracted with Mangrove Productions for the next three years.

He won the contract following his performance at the 8th Festival of Pacific Arts held in Nouméa, New Caledonia in September last year.

The launch, which was organized by Alliance Française, saw hundreds of Suva's elite gather at the Suva Holiday Inn's Lali Room.

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Heritage and Civil Aviation, Konisi Yabaki, praised local artists, saying the fame that they have brought to the country has been as powerful as that of its diplomatic representatives.

Mr. Yabaki also paid tribute to forebears of the industry, which included Percy Bucklnell, Ratu Sireli Racule, Eremasi Tamanisau, Sir Josua Rabukawaqa and Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara and Ratu Manu Korovulavula.

Despite some technical difficulties at the beginning of Mr. Vuatalevu's performance, he said that he was happy with the outcome of the launch and that he was extremely grateful for the support of Alliance Française.

"They have made this event a memorable one and I am thankful for that," said Mr. Vuatalevu.

Mr. Vuatalevu's new album is a collection of some of his award winning songs, both local and international.

For additional reports from Fiji’s Daily Post, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Resources/FijiLive.

For additional reports from FijiLive, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Resources/FijiLive.

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