Occupation: Creative Director | Promoter | Broadcaster | Cultural Enthusiast | Connector Of Dots
Were you into music as a kid?
I was blessed enough to have a mother with an amazing record collection. She laid the seed for my obsession with music. Mum's collection consisted of a lot of disco, boogie, reggae & early hip hop. My earliest memory of turntables was when my brother and i got in trouble for breaking mums needle. My brother and i had spent the afternoon trying to cut/scratch a record that mum never played, "The Ballad of Lilly Pinkham".
Music was always a large component at family functions and growing up at the rugby club. There was always lots of Detroit and Philadelphia soul, rare groove, disco & reggae. To this day as a family we will sing these songs whilst celebrating life. It's funny how you never realise how significant certain songs will become in your adult life
The Emotions - Flowers
Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway - Back Together Again
How did #Jusayin come into existence?
#Jusayin, came into existence as i'd become bored of what i was hearing in clubs. At the time i was working at the German record label, Project Mooncircle & also a side project we as a label/employee's had started, Finest Ego. At the time i was obsessed with a lot of the music coming out of LA's beat scene and also the European take on this phenomenon. Through my position at Project Mooncircle/Finest Ego, i'd discovered some amazing artists from New Zealand & Australia like Ta-Ku, Christoph el Truento, Ben Jamin & Lewis McCallum. As a result i put together a compilation based on producers from New Zealand & Australia. The compilation was a huge success and was the catalyst for me changing my focus from international music to pushing south pacific producers and using my global network to create awareness of the emerging scene out of the South Pacific.
The name #Jusayin was actually the brain child of Perth producers, Ta-Ku who is now one of the biggest beat artists in the world.
After months of creating the brand identity with Addison Chase (Cosmic Compositions), we launched #Jusayin and our first club night, Few Chur Lab. We were lucky enough to gain the support of local hip hop, creative institute & bar, Rakino's. We knew it was going to be an up hill battle but we were down for the fight. The first Few Chur Lab, was pretty much just our mates. From memory i think we had just over 80 people at our night. We had Side Steps Quintet, when they were just a duo. Rachel Fraser (Funkommunity), joined them as guest on mic. We also had Ben Jamin on the line up but he had forgotten that he was in Wellington that night & didn't show up. Few Chur Lab is still the only primarily beats orientated night in New Zealand & has hosted some of the world's finest acts.
What/who currently inspires you?
The whole Auckland community really inspires me at the moment. For years so many of our finest creatives & musicians moved to London or Melbourne to make their mark on the world but in the past 2 - 3 years, alot of these people have stayed in Auckland and created an amazing community where knowledge is shared. Auckland is really driving the creative sector at the moment across all mediums. For so many years Wellington, has dictated what the 'sound of New Zealand' was. Now it's Auckland driving that sound.
What live acts have you seen recently that have blown you away?
On a local level, it has to be Christoph el Truento. He's just that 'dude'. Christoph's on a whole other level and dare i say it i consider him to be one of the world's finest producers. There are just no boundaries with him. Also the YGB boys output continues to amaze me.
Christoph El Truento - Sunflower |
Moving away from hip hop/beats and into another one of my true loves, house i'd have to say Flowers & Keepsakes. I actually met Keepsakes at a workshop and live performance we hosted with Dibiase at Conch Records. The Chaos In The CBD bro's who are making their way in London now.
Flowers & Keepsakes - Monday |
Flowers & Keepsakes - Suspect Package |
Internationally, Hugh Masekela who played as part of the Auckland Arts Festival, Fred Wesley & Bobby Womack, have been some highlights of this year and you cannot forget Erykah Badu at Splore Festival in 2012, that was some purely spiritual shit
Erykah Badu Live At Splore |
As an overall night i'm going to have to say the, NZ Soul All Dayer. The Soul Alldayer was a tribute to the soul weekenders that occur in the UK & all over the world. Northern Soul was really for me the start of clubbing culture. In the 60's people would spend their entire weekends travelling from club to club listening soul music. They were the original weekend warriors. At one point of the night we attempted to calculate the value of all the records in the bar, i think it's safe to say there was at least 40K worth of rare records.
Northern Soul |
What is the most amazing musical experience you have had?
That's always a really tough one but it has to be between seeing Eru Dangerspiel live at the Auckland Town Hall a few years ago. It was so moving that this irish lady who was standing next to me spent most of the time crying. The other was when Nathan Haines played with Marlena Shaw. That particular night i'd indulged in far too much acid and the music really just overwhelmed me.. Around that period i was learning alot about Nathan Haines and his music as well as his contribution in the 90's to the High Street jazz scene.
You work with a number of creatives from musicians, fine artists, graphic and fashion designers, do you enjoy this cross pollination of ideas?
Sharing and community are at the heart of what i do and the whole ethos of what's going on in Auckland . I will always seek new and interesting creatives to work with. Relevancy is key.
Do you think it is important to have collaboration across disciplines?
I really love the whole process of collaboration. It's great to work alongside other creatives to create totally unique activations. I think without collaboration things get stale. It also allows you to reach out to other communities and introduces you to other ways of thinking.