OPETAIA FOA'I - FOUNDER OF TEVAKA, SONGWRITER, PRODUCER, SINGER, GUITARIST, PERCUSSIONIST
Born in Samoa, and raised in New Zealand with parents from the small Islands of Tokelau and Tuvalu, Opetaia Foa’i is the creator, composer and front-man of “Te Vaka”.
Over the last 20 plus years he has released 9 albums of original music, heavily influenced by the culture and traditions of Polynesia. He has toured with his group, Te Vaka (a talented group of musicians and dancers from across the South Pacific), to over 40 countries around the world telling the stories and sharing the culture of the South Pacific.
Described as “one of New Zealand’s finest songwriters” and “a true son of the Pacific”, Opetaia won the Senior Pacific Artist award in 2005 for his contribution to Pacific Arts. He has received numerous awards for his music and performing with Te Vaka has represented New Zealand and the South Pacific at Prestigious events all over the world, including the Beijing Olympics, Rugby World Cup in Paris and Commonwealth Games.
In December 2013 Opetaia signed with Walt Disney Animation Studios as a songwriter for the musical animated feature film “Moana" (a movie set in Polynesia 2,000 years ago), working alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, In The Heights) and Mark Mancina (The Lion King). Moana was released in the US on November 23rd 2016 to rave reviews, topping the Thanksgiving eve box office sales for 2016 and going on to be nominated for a number of awards, including 2 Oscars.
Opetaia is currently working on a number of new projects along with preparing the band for performances around the world in 2017 and 2018.