Olivia Foa’i continues to forge solo career with new single release

By Stefan Dimitrof

Olivia Foa’i is releasing an intimate and reflective single called Myriagon, no photos please.

Foa'i's vocals are featured throughout Disney’s original Moana soundtrack, and she is the daughter of Opetaia Foa'i, singer-songwriter for Moana and founder of group Te Vaka, the world Pacific tour group.

Foa’i, who released her solo album, Candid in time to win the 2019 Best Pacific Album at the Aotearoa Music Awards, also earned the Best Female Artist at the 2020 Pacific Music Awards.

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This year Foa’i joined creative forces with Māori musician Rei to create their waiata Kokomea by mixing te reo Māori and Tokelauan for the Waiata Anthems album.

The musician, dancer and filmmaker, who has Tokelau, Tuvalu and British heritage)said that even though it seems as though she is stepping out on her own, her family is behind the scenes helping her along.

“My brother is there producing my songs, my dad is there telling me ‘No, that’s no good’ or ‘Yes, we can release that’ and Mum is always helping.”

'Just another day in the studio'

“It’s nice that I don’t feel too much like I’m leaving, I’ll always be back.”

Foa’i said that she had also received a hugely positive response to featuring on the Moana soundtrack. “It was a huge moment, and if you were from this area of the world, you definitely didn’t miss what happened.”

“I didn’t realise what was happening at the time - it was just another day in the studio with Dad.”

Foie’s new single asks the question, ‘What do you value in life? Are you present? Can you be present?’ as she said that people are becoming virtual versions of themselves.

Foa’i said she had never thought she was meant for the spotlight, explaining that she never felt comfortable there for most of her career.

Foa’i hopes other artists and people can take the time to look after themselves while promoting their music.

“You can feel as if you’re selling everything, even your soul, your mind and your privacy to promote your stuff; I hope that artists and people take a minute to slow down and be okay with slowing down.”