Outback Boy in Global Spotlight

Written byAmanda Shoebridge
Published on19 Jun, 2024
A boy in a red bomber jacket leans up against a wall

16-year-old Broken Hill music sensation, Fiula Havili, is one of 166 finalists across 12 categories in the global RE@CH Media Festival.  

Looking to follow in the footsteps of The Silver City’s other hip-hop success story, The Kid Laroi, Fiula dreams of making it big in the music industry. 

The only Australian in his category of ‘music video’, Fiula said “Some people think I’m crazy, but I definitely dream of being a famous musician. I want to be up there with The Kid Laroi one day. It’s the only career I see myself in, so that’s what I’m going to do, I’m going to work towards that.”  

With the support of the Social Futures Clubhouse program, Havili’s aspirations have found a platform in The Global RE@CH Media Festival—an international celebration of youth art, music, and culture.  

“The Clubhouse is cool. At home, all I have is my school laptop, but at the Clubhouse they have these programs so I can mix live guitar into my recordings, it’s heaps more fun,” Fiula stated. 

“It means a lot to be part of the RE@CH Festival ’cause I’ve never actually had an opportunity to have my music displayed like that, to have it out there. It’s always been just making music and putting it on YouTube, but this will be like my first competition. I love it, it’s just fun.” 

The RE@CH Media Festival is an initiative by The Clubhouse Network, headquartered in Boston, USA, that offers young people a platform to express their views on issues important to them. 

With a heritage that includes both Pacific Islander and First Nations Australian ancestry, Fiula says music has always been a significant part of his life. 

“So much of my family sing, and they’ve always had this passion and love for music. And my Indigenous side – I’ve always had this connection to culture, dancing and singing,” said Fiula.  

 “I started writing music maybe three years ago now. And yeah, as soon I did that first song, I was just like ‘that’s something that I want to do for a living’.” 

Fiula produced his RE@CH Festival entry, “Green Light, Red Light,” at home in his bedroom using his school laptop.  

“There were no loops used, everything in the music production is 100% original,” says Fiula.  

 “The song is about adrenaline and the thrill I get from go-karting. When you’re in the kart you can feel how fast it is, so it’s about that thrill and just about having a mad time,” he explained.   

 When asked for advice for other young dreamers, Fiula keeps it simple: “Just you know, give it a go ’cause you’ve only got one life you know. You might as well live it.” 

Clubhouse Broken Hill, managed by Social Futures, opened its doors in December, and Clare Lewis, Social Futures Team Leader, says it’s been a great hit with local young people. 

“There’s loads of awesome stuff young people can get involved in here, whether it is music production or technology, there are 3D printers, coding programs, VR headsets, art and musical instruments – so much to inspire creativity and imagination,” said Lewis.  

 “The other wonderful thing about Clubhouse is that it fosters connections among young people locally as well as globally. And it’s so great to bring international awareness out to the bush through competitions like this one.” 

Social Futures Clubhouse Broken Hill is part of The Clubhouse Network, a program of the Museum of Science, Boston in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab. Social Futures also runs Clubhouses in Bathurst, Ballina and Lismore.