A staple in Victoria’s ska music scene has died.
Orrie Tetoga Falesau, also known as Orilla, passed away on March 31, 2019. Orilla was half of the local band, Grossbuster, and also performed with Tuff Jelly.
His cause of death is unconfirmed.
For Dane Roberts, artistic and executive director of Victoria B.C. Ska and Reggae Society, the loss is a personal blow.
“He was a supporter of our festival and shows, and also just such a nice person. Every time I talked to Orrie he was soft spoken and really understood people, he was a great listener,” Roberts said. “He was a really gentle soul.”
Roberts met Orilla in 2011, and since then watched his musical ablities take off.
“Orrie was so into the music, he started in ska and later on expanded more into hip hop, drums and bass,” Roberts said. “His voice was very sweet and melodic… he made me dance a lot.”
Roberts said that aside from his musical talent, Orilla was also passionate about cooking, and worked at local hot spots like Red Fish Blue Fish.
On April 1, Red Fish Blue Fish also announced on Facebook that Orrie had died, and that the restaurant would remain closed until April 3.
Grossbuster was scheduled to perform at the Capital Ballroom on April 12, opening for the Righteous Rainbows.
Roberts said that Orilla wasn’t scheduled to play at the upcoming Ska Fest, but was likely to make a reunion appearance with his friend Nathan Cummings of One Drop.
“In either case, I really want to honour him this year at the fest,” Roberts said. “He was just such a cool guy, and so thoughtful.”
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