James Ioelu

James Ioelu on stage at the 2013 McDonald’s Sydney Eisteddfod. Photo: WInkiPoP Media

An interview with James Ioelu


A man of few words with a great singing voice, New Zealander James Ioelu sung in the final round of the Sydney Eisteddfod McDonald’s Aria for the third time in 2014.  In 2013, he finished runner-up.


What would you say to someone that was thinking about entering the Sydney Eisteddfod?  What advice do you have to offer?

Do it!  Two of my friends have done it and for them the dream has come true.

What is you favourite Sydney Eisteddfod event to watch/perform in?

The Sydney Eisteddfod McDonald’s Aria!  In my case, entering it has become a habit.

What did you learn from your experience

 I needed to find friends in Sydney, so I had somewhere to stay when I came over to compete…

What is unique about Sydney Eisteddfod?

The camaraderie that develops between entrants. You don’t find this everywhere… Sydney is a friendly place.

What did you do to prepare for your performance?

I flew crossed the Tasman four times in three days.   I had a singing engagement in New Zealand on the Friday night, so on the Thursday, I flew from Auckland, arrived in Sydney, sang my aria, rushed back to the airport and flew home. I got into the quarter final, so on Saturday I flew back to Sydney and sang my way into the semis, so I stayed overnight.  On the Sunday I competed in the semi final and flew home again.