By Prerna Priyanka
Ben Masirewa, who has been dubbed a “one-man musical genius,” is returning to the Fiji Fringe Festival after his blazing performance last year.
Masirewa credits his father for instilling a rebellious spirit within him, fostering a love for rock ‘n’ roll and encouraging him to dare to be different.
“He dared me to be myself, unafraid of being myself,” Masirewa shared.
His other influences include an eclectic range of artists.
“I spent a lot of time putting on CDs and rewinding them,” says Masirewa, citing legends like Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Jimi Hendrix, and Mark Knopfler as his sources of inspiration.
He says Hendrix’s influence was particularly important; highlighting how the iconic guitarist’s fearless creativity resonated with him, especially as a teenager.
This honesty and authenticity became the cornerstone of his musical expression. Masirewa says his experience as part of popular local band 4 Quarters, is like being in a complex relationship.
He praised the camaraderie and mutual respect among the members of 4 Quarters, emphasising how their trust and openness allowed them to explore new musical ideas fearlessly.
Masirewa remains humble yet optimistic about the audience reaction to his music.
“I feel like people will come and connect and take something meaningful from the set if the music catches them at the right time and place in their life,” he mused.
He hopes to inspire younger generations of guitar players while honouring the rich tradition of Fijian guitar playing.
“The guitar is a very tactile instrument… The guitar doesn’t let you lie – and music is the art of sharing your truth.”
He also offered advice to aspiring guitarists, emphasising the importance of drive, discipline, and humility.
“Chase your dreams without fear… work your technique daily… there’s lessons to learn in every situation,” he advised.
His journey as a musician embodies the fusion of passion, authenticity, and the relentless pursuit of musical excellence.
Ben Masirewa is set to perform on March 23, at the 2024 Fiji Fringe Festival.
Tickets are available at https://www.ticketmax.com.fj/Fringe