OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Thousands will gather Saturday for the 7th annual Island Reggae Festival at the Santa Clara Fairgrounds in San Jose.
The one-day event celebrates Polynesian culture with live music, carnival rides, an island dance showcase and even a rugby tournament. Headlining the festival is Fiji, a pillar of island reggae sound who is credited with paving the way for other reggae musicians.
He stopped by KTVU Thursday to discuss his sound, what island reggae means to him and how his fans connect to it.
“Our topics are more fun, but they’re also cultural,” Fiji said. “We’re also talking about a good time at the beach or something as simple as caring for family – real backyard oriented when you come together.”
Fiji is performing in celebration of the June 22 release of his 50 song album entitled Collection: 50th State of Mind.
Asked about how people respond to his music, Fiji said they talk about how it’s life changing and helped them heel. He adds that fans have been able to deepen their connection to Fiji’s music through teh honestly in his music.
“I talk about a lot of stuff, from going through my insecurities, my rough times. It really helps deal with a lot of those issues," Fiji said. "And also identity issues, to be proud of yourself as a Pacific Islander. That’s what island reggae kind brings you. You feel good about being you.”
Satruday's festival runs from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Visit islandreggaefest.com for tickets and more on what to expect at the event.