Living in Phoenix Arizona is an 11 year old boy that is bound to one day be known by many for his musical ability. Lelea Fonua aka JrMarz has only been performing for a little over two years and has already accomplished much.
Before moving to Arizona at four years of age Lelea and his family lived in Auckland New Zealand. I’ll come back to this later.
A self taught musician Lelea first knew what he wanted when he saw another young boy perform on stage at a comedy show. His first song he sang was for his sister, Malolo, for her second birthday. Only two months of singing and learning to play the ukulele Lelea was offered a spot performing at 2 Hippies Pizzeria where he continues to perform.
The first competition Lelea would enter was with the Ukulele Underground in which he won a $400 ukulele. As a 5th grader he entered a school talent show being the youngest performer among mostly 7th and 8th graders in which he won first place.
Lelea was awarded Youth Ambassador of the Year 2012 by the American Diabetes Association. He has helped the ADA with fund drives by not just his singing but by being a speaker as well. Lelea himself is a type 1 diabetic.
A huge accomplishment for Lelea was being chosen 1 of 8 kids who were picked out of 50,000 for a chance to work with platinum artist Gavin Degraw and Nickelodeons Ashley Argota with Kids Star USA 2012.
On top of all this Lelea is also working with a national tv show called Step Up 2 The Mic where he is serving as a role model and mentor for those who make it through the auditions.
Playing for Major League baseball and some rock concerts gave Alice Cooper the chance of seeing Lelea perform in which he said, “It is easy to sing, it’s not easy to be a stylist, and he already has that……” I think they call that swag now Mr. Cooper.
Getting back to his Auckland roots I have to interject here that New Zealand and many of the pacific islands including Hawaii are all part of an underground continent know as Zealandia. The people of these islands are referred to as Pacific Islanders and their music is all similar. The man who gave Lelea his first big opportunity played in a band in Hawaii where the leader of the band had a son who started singing on stage at two years old. Henry told them he saw a lot of Lelea in this boy. At 17 Peter Hernandez moved to LA to become Bruno Mars.
Leleas other interests are fishing, football, baseball, golf and cooking. He also likes helping others.
You can find out more about JrMarz by visiting his website.
Story by: Richard Fultz a stars2come contributor.