Ardijah biography

Ryan Monga a.k.a Captain Fonk grew up in the deep south of Auckland The Big O Otara New Zealand with a melting pot of Pacific peoples and was exposed to a rich blend of both traditional Cook IslandTahitian music and the sounds of international funk bands. Meanwhile Betty Anne’s musical influences consisted of great JazzBlues singers Sarah Vaughan Ella Fitzgerald and Australia’s Renee Geyer. Ardijahs’ first album ‘Take A Chance’ was released in 1988 holding a Top 20 position on the sa

Ardijah biography

ArdijahRyan Monga (a.k.a Captain Fonk) grew up in the deep south of Auckland (The Big-O, Otara) New Zealand, with a melting pot of Pacific peoples, and was exposed to a rich blend of both traditional Cook Island/Tahitian music and the sounds of international funk bands.

Meanwhile, Betty-Anne’s musical influences consisted of great Jazz/Blues singers Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Australia’s Renee Geyer.

Ardijahs’ first album ‘Take A Chance’ was released in 1988 holding a Top 20 position on the sales charts for four months and achieving platinum status. The four singles released from the album were all radio hits, with all 3 charting Top 10.

Ardijah toured extensively, attracting large crowds from a broad range of music lovers, cementing their reputation not only as talented recording artists but also as dynamic performers.

In 1990 their burgeoning musical career took Ardijah to Sydney, Australia where they quickly established themselves and their unique sound in the local music scene.

Soon after, they were chosen as support act on Bobby Brown’s Australian Tour, and also contributed their unique sound to the albums of other talented Australian artists. A cameo performance for musical legend Quincy Jones was definitely a highlight.

After returning home to New Zealand in 1996, Ardijah released their album ‘Influence’ on their new independent label South Central Productions of which the singles ‘Bad Buzz’ and ‘Oh Baby’ received national airplay. Excellent sales from this album also reinforced Ardijah’s ongoing popularity with people from all walks of life.

1998 saw the band produce their first single release by a major record label in several years. The obscure Bee Gee’s track, ‘Love So Right’ was released bearing all the hallmarks of Ardijah’s unique Poly-Fonk R&B sound. This release caught the attention of the original artists/songwriters, resulting in a meeting with Ardijah when the Gibb brothers toured New Zealand in 1999.

‘Love So Right’ was one of New Zealand’s most played radio hits of the year, remaining in the Top 20 for seventeen weeks - seven of those weeks in the Top 10 - sending the song to Gold sales. Their follow-up single, ‘Silly Love Songs’, was released in January 1999 reached Number One, giving them another Gold. At the 1999 Music Awards, Ardijah were finalists in three categories Top Group, Top Single and Top Female Vocalist, of which Betty-Anne took the Best Female Vocalist Award.

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