“Soon it would become apparent that 2020 was the year that many artistic careers slid to a pause … but not that of Vika & Linda, whose soulful vocal prowess became a radiant beacon of warmth.” – Andrew McMillen, The Australian
You can’t beat siblings singing together, Paul Kelly observed when Vika & Linda released their 2020 anthology, ‘Akilotoa. “They make the air beat in sync.”
It comes naturally to Melbourne’s Bull sisters – they’ve been singing together their entire lives, starting in church with their mother, Siniva, who came to Australia as a nursing student in 1959. “Tongans by nature are fun, always laughing, always eating, always singing and always praying,” Vika explains.
“We learned to sing at church,” Linda adds. “Our mother was our teacher and we loved listening to the Tongans singing. It was joyous.”
From church to the charts, Vika & Linda have enjoyed a remarkable musical journey.
A snapshot of the highlights: After three classic albums with The Black Sorrows, Vika & Linda have released six studio albums, two live albums and a chart-topping anthology. They have also sung on number one albums by Paul Kelly, Kasey Chambers and John Farnham, done gigs for the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela and the King of Tonga, and been nominated for four ARIA Awards.
Vika & Linda are admired and respected by fans and fellow artists. “They are the most loved vocal duo of their generation,” Craig Horne wrote in his 2019 book, Roots, How Melbourne Became The Live Music Capital Of The World.
Kasey Chambers says simply, “Hearing Vika & Linda’s voices together is still one of my favourite sounds ever.”
“I’m a huge fan,” agrees Mark Seymour, who wrote Vika & Linda’s debut single, ‘When Will You Fall For Me’. “They believe in music – which is a rare thing – and they’ve endured.”
“Their beauty, talent and virtuosity is irrefutable,” adds James Reyne. “Musical life with Vika & Linda is one that’s full of soul, harmony and joy.”
The Bull sisters inspired young star Mo’Ju. “I grew up listening to Vika & Linda – I would copy their dance moves off the TV. I don’t think I’d have a career in the Australian music industry if I hadn’t had them to look up to and to pave the way.
Kiwi star Marlon Williams is enraptured by Vika & Linda’s compelling live show. “You ask anyone who’s seen the Bull sisters live and they’ll tell you that the moment they come on stage the temperature just changes in the room. There’s just so much heat.”
In 2016, Vika & Linda received a Special Recognition Award at the Pacific Music Awards, presented in New Zealand. And they were inducted into the Music Victoria Hall of Fame in 2019 by their good friend Kate Ceberano. “And now together,” Kate said, “always together – forever together – we celebrate their important position in the history of Australian music.”
Vika & Linda made their own history in 2020 when their career anthology, ‘Akilotoa, entered the Australian charts at number one – their first chart-topping album and the first number one album by an Australian female duo.
An early influence, Joe Camilleri, is proud of what Vika & Linda have achieved, blazing a trail for other female artists. “Over the years I’ve watched them grow and grow and now they’re a real powerhouse.”
As Goanna’s Shane Howard notes, “They’re a musical treasure.”
Along the way, Vika & Linda have been much-loved members of the RocKwiz Orkestra – on TV and on the road – and sung on iconic Australian albums such as Archie Roach’s Charcoal Lane, John Farnham’s Chain Reaction, Deborah Conway’s String of Pearls, Hunters & Collectors’ Ghost Nation, Ross Wilson’s Dark Side Of The Man, Kasey Chambers’ Dragonfly and Paul Kelly’s first number one album, Life Is Fine.
And in 2016, Vika & Linda sang for 100,000 people when they performed the national anthem at the AFL Grand Final. The Herald Sun’s Cameron Adams wrote, “Anyone who has to sing the national anthem at a major sporting event in the future needs to YouTube this as research.”.