Hawaiian Reggae artist Siaosi pays homage to his Tongan roots with his newly released rendition of the Tongan Reggae classic “Eva Mai.” Siaosi recalls, “Eva Mai is a Tongan Reggae anthem from the 90’s. Ulise, the original composer and singer of “Eva Mai” has been a big influence to many Tongan Reggae artists like myself. So with this remake I pay my respects to Ulise, the one who paved the way for me.” The new song is out now on Wash House Music Group, and everywhere you stream music! Save and download here: https://empire.ffm.to/evamai
Ulise,Tongan reggae musician, is credited for bringing reggae music to Tonga and gained popularity in Hawaii during the 80’s and 90’s for masterfully blending reggae music and Tongan. Siaosi recalls, “Growing up in Hawaii Ulise was one of only a few Tongan artists on the radio. Watching the effect his music made on not only Tongans in Hawaii but all of Hawaii gave me the confidence that I could do it too.”
Sung in Tongan, the classic and hit song “Eva Mai” is about Tonga. Siaosi says, “It is an invitation to everyone living abroad, especially the youth, to remember the beauty and simplicity of the islands of Tonga.” He sings: “Eva mai eva mai Kau taki si ha’o mamata Ki he esi ko Taufa Pea moe Vai ko Velenga Talaatu tama ko e a’u ‘ataa” (welcomes you to take a journey with me to see the beauty of Tonga.)”
The new song was recorded during the height of the pandemic. Leveraging this time, L.A. based Siaosi creatively collaborated with the Hawaiian local and Greenstone Group producer DRUMWISE, Calvin Canha. With the help of Facetime and voice memos the duo record music in their respective studios, Calvin in Hawaii and Siaosi in LA.
Remembering Tonga during a time when the island is steeped in recovery from the fallout of an underwater volcano eruption, “Eva Mai” is the nostalgic masterpiece for Tongans abroad. Reflecting back on the project Siaosi says, “I Just want to thank Ulise for paving the way for Tongan reggae artists like me. Mālō ‘aupito ‘a e ngāue lahi.”
Currently touring, Siaosi is excited to get back to performing in front of live audiences. He says, “Everything was shut down during the start of the pandemic so it’s such a blessing to be able to perform live again and to be offered numerous U.S. shows. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned during the pandemic is to adjust and keep moving forward because time will never wait for you to catch up.” The tour is in full effect, check out tour dates here.