Tiki Taane

Tiki Taane – Acoustic Mash Up

The land of the long white cloud ‘Aotearoa’ has a long proud history in producing some of the worlds finest musicians. We here in Australia should know, having always been more then happy over the years to try claim them as our own. Then in the mid 1990’s an act called Salmonella Dub came along & changed the game. They were an act that were so undeniably unique to their land & original in their sound, that it was unquestionable as to where their heritage laid.

Salmonella Dub, have often been hailed as pioneers of a new genre of music, forging together a sound that combined dub, drum, bass, reggae, roots, dance hall, hip hop & rock into one. It paved the way for countless artists to follow such as Fat Freddys Drop, Kora & Trinity Roots to name a few. Salmonella paved the way & the man that helped bring them to the masses was Nathan Tinorau aka Tiki Taane.

Speaking with Tiki from his backyard as he’s building a pond of all things, he explains his entry into music as a frustrated 13 year old, “trying to find the angriest music I could possibly find. From NWA to Public Enemy to Slayer, Sepultura, Deicide, Cannibal Corpse. You name it, the angrier the better”.┬áPicking up the guitar at the age of 13, he started up his own metal band called “Cultivation”, which stayed together for 3 years before finally disbanding around his 18th birthday.

Discovering a love for more groove orientated rhythms as he grew older, he landed a job behind the sound desk for Salmonella Dub. It is here that he fast earned himself a reputation of possessing the ability to deliver a staggeringly powerful sound to every show they performed. Whilst they were on tour, he mucked around, penning a little jam titled ‘For the love of it’. Once the Salmonella boys heard the tune, they recorded it instantly & shot a video for it.

The song went on to become a bona fide hit & Kiwi summertime anthem, which propelled the band into the spotlight. It took them from the small pub circuit to selling out venues in the 1000’s. As the popularity of the song increased, so too did the demand for Tiki to leave the sound desk & join them on stage to play with increased regularity.

Tiki explains “I didn’t expect it to be received the way it was. It was just a little jam that I wrote & was a real trip for the success it brought us”. They went on to tour internationally together for 11 years and after a successful New Years Eve party in 2006, Tiki felt it was time to go solo. “I felt like I needed to leave then & there. It was just the right time. I was scared we might start to go down the path of writing the same music & I didn’t want us to become complacent.”

Leaving amicably & with nothing but love & respect, he left with some songs up his sleeve that “didn’t quite fit Salmonella”. With Shapeshifter by his side & keen to play together live, he set about recording his own album which resulted in the double platinum song “Always on my mind’. The song went on to become the most successful single of all time in New Zealand, helping make his debut album “Past, Present & Future” also reach double Platinum status.

Having previously played Cairns at 2 separate Reggaetowns, he’s no stranger to the region & remembers last time he was here fondly. “Right before I came onstage, I found out the charges against me had been dropped”. The charges he’s referring to was for ‘disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence to start or continue’. The charges came about, all for innocently performing a cover of NWA’s hit ‘F##k the police’ in New Zealand. It was a memorable performance from a clearly relieved man to have his name freed from what was essentially a bullshit charge.

On his upcoming “Acoustic Mash Up” tour, Tiki’s looking forward to returning to the region & perform his first stand alone show up here. “I can’t wait to connect with the crowd & show how my sound has evolved. I want to push things no one has ever heard before. It’s no longer just me and my acoustic. I’ve got this intense electric sound, with distortion pedals, bass pedals. I get to loop some beats with a live real drum sound. It get’s really sonic , really massive”.

Tiki plays at Tanks Art Centre Saturday March 14th. Tickets available now through Ticketlink.

Andy Parkinson

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