Singing has given me an opportunity of a lifetime with real-life lessons. Singing has connected me to kids and teens my age where I advocate for them through anti-bullying campaigns, I sing for the homeless, the unfortunate, the abused, the troubled and the sick. These are all opportunities that singing has given me. I am able to share, sing and brighten their day simply by singing.
As part of my series featuring the rising stars in the music industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Siaki Sii.
Siaki Sii is a 17-year-old, Polynesian International award-winning entertainer! In 2012 Siaki led a dance troop of nearly 100 kids into victory at the early age of 9, where he won the best “Ra’atira” lead entertainer under the direction of Tiana Nonosina Liufau (Disney MOANA’s curator and choreographer). In 2013 Siaki travels to Tahiti and performs at a “SOLD OUT” show on TO’ATA one of the greatest stages on the islands.
In 2015 12-year-old Siaki Sii opened as a performer for Grammy award nominee boy band “Common Kings” internationally in the islands of Tonga. In 2017 Siaki Sii booked his first co-star role in ABC’s “Blackish” and was also chosen by a Royal family member in Tonga to become a global youth ambassador for Tonga’s Red Cross Society.
In 2019 Siaki traveled across the country to Tahiti and competed in a soloist competition and WON 1st place and was the only performer in his age category from the USA.
In between it all Siaki releases cover songs that mean a lot to him. Such as “Keep On” by Major — a song that helps him navigate and keeps him grounded, rooted and honest through both cultures.
2020 –Great things in the works for Siaki as he continues to work hard in the industry of Hollywood with a mindset of “Quitting is not an option” Siaki will be releasing an original song in Winter of 2020! Stay tuned!
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Thank you for having me, what an honor and I am very grateful. What brought me to this career path was, I started off as a dancer first and foremost but I always knew I wanted to be an actor and in the industry during my younger time I noticed that as an actor they look for factors such as being a triple threat. So singing wasn’t my strongest talent but it was one I was willing to step out of my comfort zone to become what is known as a triple threat. I had to work harder but I am so thankful that I did because I fell in love with it.
Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your music career?
I think the most interesting story that occurred to me during my music career has been the fact that it has been my most challenging but most rewarding; it is my biggest blessing. Singing has given me an opportunity of a lifetime with real-life lessons. Singing has connected me to kids and teens my age where I advocate for them through anti-bullying campaigns, I sing for the homeless, the unfortunate, the abused, the troubled and the sick. These are all opportunities that singing has given me. I am able to share, sing and brighten their day simply by singing. I am thankful GOD has blessed me with the desire to overcome my own insecurities about my vocals and uses me as a tool to be a ray of light to all those in need.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I would say the most interesting or exciting thing I am working on now is new original music. I am working on releasing a few songs at the end of the year. In these songs, you’ll find a bunch of mixtures of who I am — a lot of funk and beats you’ll be able to move and groove to. I’m excited about these pieces; I am older now so this will all be me.
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
The most interesting people I have interacted with I would have to say is Taika Waititi. I say that because a lot of times I come off weird to most people in the industry, I come off unapproachable, slow, not looking the way they perceive a teen boy should look, but with Taika Waititi, in my first meeting with him ever, I felt like he was the first in this industry to get me. To really see me and to understand me! It was the first time since I ever started in the industry where I felt I didn’t have to act. I was me and he saw right through me. He had seen my hard work, my efforts, and my dedication, and it felt good. It motivated me to never let anyone tell me I can’t do something! I was told that I would never get a lead role and that I will always be a friend type of role. Shortly after meeting with Taika Waititi, I was on AVAIL for a lead role. Although it was for AVAIL I knew that it was possible to do the impossible.
Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?
When you say history I think of my grandparents on both my dad and my mom’s sides. I’m not sure if you meant history as in Captain Cook — a British explorer and navigator who discovered a lot of the Polynesian island. I am grateful for that, but I am inspired through the history of my grandparents who paved the way for my parents. They taught my parents to love, humility, loyalty, and honesty, because of their attributes they instilled that to my parents who instilled that in me. That’s who inspires me because I am here today because of them.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I have used my success so far by giving back. Annually I perform at our local senior citizen’s home for special occasions such as Thanksgiving or Christmas or parties that they are having. I have a special place in my heart for senior citizens because I was really close to my grandpa who is now deceased. So by being able to give back to seniors, it reminds me of him.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
If I could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people it would have to be #Within. Everything we do starts within ourselves. To be better leaders, listeners, friends, etc. — it all has to start within.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Tips I would recommend to my colleagues in my industry to help them thrive would be to always make sure that you’re enjoying what you do. If you don’t enjoy it you need to re-evaluate your purpose.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
Well, I always say I’m lucky because I had a huge and positive support system from the very start, who have always told me things I needed to know like,
1. Remember to take some time off for yourself.
2. This is going to take a lot of time and patience
3. You will feel like you want to give up at times and anxiety is real
4. You will not always be liked in the limelight but still be grateful
5. Stay focused
These are all things that my parents have always stayed in my ear about. My parents are actively involved in my life and I am sincerely grateful for that. I am thankful for agents, managers, and friends who help me daily with wise counsels to keep me on my game. I have had this kind of support from the very start.
We are blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she just might see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
I would love to have a private breakfast and lunch with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Not because he’s one of the world’s greatest individuals but because of the similarities in our lives as American Polynesians.
1. He knows what it’s like to come from nothing and make yourself into something.
2. He understands what it’s like to embrace two worlds, stay rooted in your culture, and work hard in the mainstream to earn your spot in Hollywood.
3. Lastly, because he built and created a successful life in all the areas that he’s worked so hard for and never let anyone tell him he wouldn’t make it.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
You can follow me on all social media platforms. @siakisii or through my website www.siakisii.com
Thank you for these great insights. This was very inspiring!