Tiki Taane: On going green, new music, and finding his soulmate

Publish Date
Thursday, 31 January 2019, 10:54AM
NZ Herald

NZ Herald

Summer has gone off with a bang for Tiki Taane with new studio work, the release of a new live EP set as well as a host of shows including his 26th New Year's Eve performance in a row at the Northern Bass Festival in Mangawhai.

The musical activist, whose hit single Always on My Mind stayed in the Top 40 for 55 weeks when released in 2007, has a much more settled lifestyle.

With life on the road there's plenty of quality time with his partner and "soulmate" Rachel Axis and their children at their eco-conscious home in Pāpāmoa.

With the new live EP and a full programme of gigs lined up for the coming months, there are no signs of Taane slowing down.

"Things have been absolutely cranking! Last weekend, we were parked up backstage in a house bus at Raglan's Soundsplash Festival. The Fat Freddy's Drop show on January 5 at Tauranga's Wharepai Domain was another highlight of the summer," he says.

"I love the Freddy's whānau, and to be able to open for them with my old mates Salmonella Dub was a huge buzz. The other banger festivals so far were Bay Dreams in Tauranga and Nelson.

"Festivals are always fun for catching up with close friends I've made in the music scene over the years. They are great for checking out new and established artists, and seeing the production and different stage set ups they may have.

"In the early days, you'd have to go and tour the UK, EU or the States to be able to perform alongside big international acts. It's exciting to see how far the New Zealand festival scene has come."

Taane's next run of shows will be opening for UB40 around the country, and gigs with Shapeshifter. "I'm really looking forward to the opening of the Christchurch Townhall with Shapeshifter and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. It will be an emotional and moving show."

Taane is also set to play at the Bluewaters Festival in Cambridge, the Takapuna festival and at New Zealand's first dog festival in Auckland called WOOFSTOCK.

His new live EP called The One Man Band launched worldwide last week. It's a snapshot of where his live show is right now and has three live songs with videos to watch online.

"The decision to release this EP came from the surprisingly positive reaction to a live video posted online of me performing in Bali, on a rooftop in a rice field. It had over 200,000 views in less than a week, so I thought I'd better do a couple more videos like it and release them on an EP," he says.

If dub as a music style is as popular as ever is a question Taane finds hard to answer.

"It's hard to tell when you've been doing this kind of music since 1996. All I can say it's awesome to see younger acts coming through. No matter what style they're playing, as long as it means something and it's not mumble rap I'm happy."

2019 will bring another huge year of touring, making more music for both himself and other artists, while trying to live his best life with the whānau. Fighting for the rights of those less fortunate will remain a focus, as well as being proactive about social, environmental, political issues to spark conscious change.

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission.