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Folk Fan-Favourites


Award-winning Canadian contemporary folk band The East Pointers returns next month to awaiting die-hard Kiwi fans

 

We have a double pass to see The East Pointers up for grabs. To be in the draw, head to the Metropol Facebook page and tag your ‘plus one’. Winners drawn: 26 March.


Their Australasian tour includes a Christchurch gig to promote their new album at Cassels Blue Smoke at The Tannery on Friday 3 April.

Fan favourites in their home country, they grew up playing live music in their remote homeland locale of Prince Edward Island; their French and Celtic heritage fused into their souls and DNA.

As a crowd-pleaser at WOMAD in New Plymouth 2018, the band was chuffed to rank just behind Adele in the New Zealand charts.

This will be the second South Island visit after their gig with Kiwi icon Mel Parsons in early 2019.

Tim Chaisson sings and plays fiddle, percussion and guitar. His beguiling instrument is part of who he is. “My dad says I’m seventh-generation fiddle player.”

Cousin Cody Chaisson rocks the bango; tenor guitar, Moog synthesiser and their best bud Jake Charron is on main guitar and keyboard.

The name East Pointers comes from the fishing community near their home, East Point, where Cody was once a lobster fisherman.

Yours to Break is their 10-track album released in September last year, where echoing bass melds with Celtic vibes – lush in sound and lyrics.

The album has so far landed six East Coast Music Awards.

Their friend Emma Watkins from The Wiggles is the dancer in the video of the album’s popular track Wintergreen.

They met Emma “randomly”, when touring Australia and ended up accompanying The Wiggles in “crazy massive arenas”.

“She’s created a video incorporating sign language and dance into Wintergreen,” Tim says.

“It’s so cool how it turned out. Emma also comes along to a few of our gigs to hang. The song stems from a conversation about mental health – Cody being bi-polar himself.”

He says in everyday life some people often don’t see how incredible they are. “We named it Wintergreen, as it’s about surviving the storm – through all seasons.”

Their second album in 2017 What we leave behind won Traditional Routes Album Of The Year, at the Juno Awards – Canada’s version of the Grammys – which clocked up to four million streams on Spotify.

“Our Acadian French ancestry somewhere along the way was influenced by the Scottish and Irish who arrived in East Canada. There has always been dancing and music to get us through long cold winters.

“The band is doing a lot of international touring, and we’re always on the go writing and looking forward to the next project. I grew up around incredible musicians. Our type of music was always playing at the Cèilidhs, which Gailic for dance. We like to the bring old-style and new together.”

The trio, all in their mid-thirties love New Zealand for its landscape and locals.

“We have been holidaying here this summer with our families, during our four-month tour. Cody and I both have one-and-a-half-year-olds; we love to bring our families along with us whenever we can.”

Tickets: undertheradar.co.nz


 

A winning combo


Fiona Pears fell in love with violin at five years of age and soon after one turned up in her Christmas stocking. By the age of 12 she was leading the Christchurch Youth Orchestra and, at 14, she joined the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. By the age of 18 she was performing in Lyttleton’s old Harbour Light theatre, as part of the Blue Swing Quartet.

 

Now she’s focusing her energy on helping talented Gypsy jazz guitarist Connor Hartley-Hall make his own mark.

The pair, who met just three short months ago, immediately connected over a shared love of Gypsy jazz and now they are taking their music back to Lyttelton, this time at the Lyttelton Arts Factory.

Also featuring Pete Fleming on double bass, the 1 March show is a double celebration for the pair, marking the official release of their joint album, South of France, and funds raised from ticket sales will go towards a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a musical OE.

“We have been given a chance to go to the UK later this year to take part in one of the most amazing Gypsy music retreats/festivals in the world,” Fiona says.

“It is the most amazing chance for us both to learn from and perform with some of the best players of this style in the world. This is a true bucket list opportunity for me and I feel it will change Connor’s young musical life.

“These shows will be exciting and dynamic; a musical experience not to be missed.”


 

Anika Moa Unleashed


Anika Moa first burst onto the recording scene at the age of 21, when she released her debut album Thinking Room in 2001.

 

 

It reached the top of the New Zealand Singles Chart, yielding four hit singles. She’s remained perched at the top of Kiwi consciousness ever since.

Although life has changed considerably since those days, the now mother-of-four juggles being knee-deep in nappies with the same offbeat sense of humour that has made her a beloved presenter, MC and now radio host.

But nothing has changed perhaps more than her music.

Rather than lust, love and heartbreak, her latest album is jam-packed with witches, monsters and Mrs Heather Fiddly Widdly Bum’s Song About Veges.

Released in November, it’s her third Songs for Bubbas album; last, but not least. “I love working with babies and kids,” Anika says.

“It fills my heart and makes me proud of myself. I love singing to them and connecting with them; that’s when I feel my happiest.”

The journey from ‘grown-up’ country-pop-rock albums to children’s music was a fairly natural progression, Anika explains.

“The only way I can write is from what I know. When I was a youngster, I was well… young! Youthful you’d say!

“Life was learning how to control my emotions or even learning how to have safe emotions and to go through a lot of lust, love and heartbreak. It’s all so dramatic and rough, then you have kids and you dive into that world. You grow up quickly, but I am a child at heart so that will never leave me. So having children inspired me to write songs for my bubbas and it grew from there.

“I am a baby whisperer… just saying!”

The 39-year-old’s ‘bubbas’ include five-year-old Soren and nine-month-old Marigold with wife, TV news reporter-turned-producer Natasha Utting, along with eight-year-old twins Barry and Taane which she shares custody of with her ex-partner.

You can’t really imagine Anika not having fun, but I still ask, how much more fun is writing and recording children’s music?

“Every kind of recording is fun, whether it’s adult or kids’ music! I still have a wine at the end of the day!”

So how different is Anika Moa post kids to Anika Moa pre kids?

“Before I had kids I had a vision of zen, peace and lovely, well-behaved kids, but the reality is a lot more ‘cray cray’,” she laughs.

“Toys everywhere, screaming, tantrums, sugar highs, sugar lows, devices, more screaming (from me lol) and lots and lots of laughter and snuggles and love. It’s a really fine balance of ups and downs.

“Keeping it real and being kind to yourself is my mantra. Also – whoever smelt it first has to change it!”

Music too is a big part of life for all her children.

“My dream is for all my children to learn an instrument and to be as passionate about music as I am, but they will have their own dreams so I’ll go with them and their hearts. As long as none of them are gay. That’s disgusting,” she deadpans in a way only Anika Moa could possibly get away with.

Amongst the adults, she’s arguably better known today as a television presenter and radio host, having recently joined Stacey Morrison and Mike Puru as part of the Drive team at The Hits.

“I’d compare it to swimming in the deep ocean and just keeping your energy levels up with a heaving chest, then you go under, but voilà, up pops the head and you continue swimming… repeat that a million times a day and that pretty much sums it up!” she laughs.

“I do love my new job with Stacey and Mike. It’s nice to get out of the whare.”

Meanwhile, her unconventional interview series Anika Moa: Unleashed has proven so popular that TVNZ OnDemand has given the greenlight for Anika Moa: Reunited next year, and you’ll often find her face popping up on Seven Sharp, where she’s a fan-favourite guest host.

So how does a day in the life of Anika Moa look these days?

“Haha… wake up two to three times a night with Marigold; wake up; do kid things (food, walk, drop offs etc) then head to a filming or an ad or a song recording or an MC event or whatever you have for me, then head to The Hits, then drive home, put the kids to bed and have a wine, if I’m honest; talk to my wife for four and a half minutes then pass out, exhausted.

“Weekends are for gigs, MC work etc… so no days off, and making time for my mental health is very important to me, so I’m trying to walk more, talk more and have massages, lots more to unwind. Did I mention wine?”

Raised in Christchurch, she loves our little slice of heaven and gets down here whenever she can.

Her BFF Nicky Claridge, who took this photo and the cover shot, lives in Omihi, in North Canterbury.

“I love Ōtautahi! I love my memories of growing up there; the Cathedral; Hagley Park; New Brighton Beach; Scarborough Hill; Lyttelton; gosh there are too many beautiful spots to name. It is a sometimes dark city but very inspiring for a writer like me.

“A sensational part of the country/world, plus the rugby!”

So how does the next 12 months look in the Moa household?

“How long have you got?” she laughs.

“I started filming Anika Moa: Reunited – a show about reuniting some of Aotearoa’s finest bands! It’s awesome so far but a lot of work! I am going to tour songs for Bubbas 3 during the school holidays and I have a new baby business I am developing for Kiwi parents. I want to release a few books and merchandise and I’d love to record a country album…

“That’s just the first half of the year!”


 

Putting the ‘sole’ into music


 

A 10-year dream to create a dedicated, world-class music hub is about to become a reality for international platinum recording artist Sacha Vee – and it’s all happening right here in Christchurch.

 

SACHA VEE

 

In February, SOLE Music Academy will move to its new premises on the ground floor of the historic Woods Mill Building in Addington, offering specialised vocal and songwriting sessions, production skills and artist development.

Sacha Vee knows first-hand the reality and challenges of navigating the music industry, having built a successful career that’s seen her perform across the globe.

Following success in New Zealand, the neo-soul singer became a top 10 finalist on The Voice of Holland which was heard by more than four million people in Holland and led to her signing a publishing deal with Downtown Music Benelux and working with Polish hip-hop star O.S.T.R.

Their collaboration garnered more than 50 million views and streams and the Fryderyk Hip Hop Album of The Year Award in Poland in 2017.

In 2016, Japanese record label Sweet Soul Records released her debut album Luminous worldwide, which made it to no.3 on the NZ Heatseeker charts.

It’s this experience that made her want to create a hub that teaches the next generation of artists all the necessary tools, skills and knowledge to achieve their goals.

“I wanted to create a service I needed when I was starting out,” Sacha explains.

“We’re not trying to sell a dream, we’re very realistic and honest with people. There is so much hard work involved.”

Sacha set up SOLE Music Academy two years ago from a single studio located at The Piano, to provide a clear and guided pathway for musicians, songwriters and producers to establish a career in music.

As director, she is now creating a community based around the SOLE concept, which stands for a ‘Source of Learning and Empowerment’.

“For decades, our local talent has been forced to look further afield for greener pastures,” Sacha says.

“SOLE creates a hub for our Christchurch talent to learn and be empowered. I’ve been thinking about this vision for over 10 years, so to have the building that will house this vision is unreal. It will support and allow artists to stay in Christchurch.”

Sacha says the move into the new building will mean the academy can continue to grow and expand, but also provide opportunities for already-established musicians and music industry professionals in the city.

 

Currently, four local musicians, KAMANDI, Will McGillivray (Nomad), Georgie Clifford and Sacha herself – all successful artists in their own rights – act as tutors and mentors to students from beginner to advanced levels.

“It was important to me to have mentors who are actually performing and releasing music to inspire and share their knowledge and experiences… the highs and the lows,” Sacha says.

This practical, focused approach means programmes can be tailored to the individual’s goals.

“It’s my hope that SOLE will also be providing a space and income for artists in town. SOLE’s mission is to help guide and get people on a pathway into the music industry, demystifying it and learning about what it
takes to sustain a music career.”

To help the project come to life, SOLE Music Academy launched a PledgeMe campaign on 18 November to ensure the community has quality rooms, gear and technology available to students.

The campaign closes on 10 December, but the team would love to hear from anyone keen to offer support, so visit www.solemusicacademy.co.nz for more information.

“The fit-out bill is getting close to $200,000, but after years of dreaming and saving, one final push is needed,” Sacha says. “We would love the public’s help to deliver this to our Christchurch musicians and make Christchurch the musical hub of Aotearoa.”

Tiki Taane’s Romantic Proposal


Tiki Taane wears a lot of hats – musician, experimentalist, musical activist, producer, live engineer, loving father and partner. But there’s one more hat he’s looking forward to wearing in the near future. We caught up with the prodigious talent about his romantic proposal.  

 

PHOTOGRAPHER WAYNE TAIT PHOTOGRAPHY

 

You’ve just recently proposed to your lovely partner Rachel in the most romantic way possible! How much time, effort and planning went into that?
I had the idea pretty early on in our relationship, but the process took just over two years of crafting and planning. Organising the proposal video so Rach didn’t suspect anything was always going to be the hard part, but luckily my mum, kids and friends helped with the surprise.
The other sneaky part which took some time was the design and making of the ring. Rach’s mum kindly gave me her old rings so I could get them melted down and turned into something new. So with help and guidance from Filigree Jewellers in Christchurch, we came up with the most beautiful ring that we are so blown away with.


Can you tell us about your new single that has just been released with the footage of your proposal and what the song means to you?
The song is called Serendipity which is a perfect description of how Rach and I first met at The Edgewater Resort in Rarotonga. It was definitely a love at first sight type scenario and one that we often reminisce about, as it’s really special.
So with all that in mind, I wanted the proposal to be something that we could always look back on and celebrate, but to also hold our relationship accountable during those hard times.


You performed in a benefit concert, Brainwaves, for the Tourette’s Association NZ on 6 July. How important is celebrating diversity to you and how amazing was the opportunity to get to give young New Zealand musicians with neurological disorders the opportunity to perform?
Brainwaves was a lot of fun and an awesome cause to get behind. The opportunity for the kids to play music on a big stage with big production was something they will never forget. Music can help so many people and can connect those from all walks of life; it was a real privilege to be part of that concert.


Can you tell us about your journey into music?
Well it’s a story with a few ups and downs but in a nutshell, I knew at 13 years old that music was all I wanted to do. So I started my band at 14, was onstage at 15 and haven’t stopped since.


Do you consider music to have been your saviour?
Yes, most definitely, especially during my early teens when I was young and reckless, then during my late 20s when I was drinking and drugging way too much, music helped pull me out of that destructive lifestyle. Music has enabled me to travel, explore countries, connect with different cultures, have adventures of a lifetime and take me places that I’d never dreamt possible.


What do you love about what you get to do?
I love that my job is about creating something out of nothing and that something then becomes a vehicle for me to travel and connect with like-minded people all over the world. That something can even be a catalyst for political, social, environmental, spiritual and conscious change, which is my ultimate goal when doing this music thing.


Speaking of catalyst for change, you are incredibly passionate about sustainability, can you tell us about your journey within this space and some of the things you do to live a more sustainable life?
I’ve been exploring ways of trying to live a more sustainable life where possible, which includes switching my home and studio to solar power five years ago. I’ve also had an electric car when I partnered up with Hyundai, which was an epic experience being able to charge the car via the energy we created from our solar panels. I feel bad about the carbon foot print I’m causing by travelling all the time, so I’m trying different ways of living that leave less stress on Papatūānuku – Mother Earth.


I understand you’re also vegetarian. How long have you been vegetarian and how have you found that experience?
Yeah, I’ve been living a plant-based diet for four years now and it’s been the best transition for me so far. I felt that by cutting meat out of my diet would not only help the planet and animals, but would also improve my health, which it has done big time. My kids still eat meat which is totally fine by me, but if they wanted to switch to a plant-based diet then I’d be all for it.


How does it feel to be in a position where you have the opportunity to inspire real-world change for some of these areas – such as animal rights – that you are so passionate about?
It’s an awesome feeling knowing that my music and brand can help causes that I’m passionate about. I’ve always wanted to be able to do things like that. I’m inspired by people like Bob Marley, Michael Franti and Nahko Bear who invoke change through their music and lyrics, which is a powerful thing.


What do you consider to be some of your career highlights?
Surviving!


What is something that people would be really surprised to know about you?
I’m a very tidy person at home, perhaps a little OCD about it. I just like things to be neat and tidy, especially if I have guests coming over. But if it’s party time, then I like to let it all hang out!


How does a day in the life of Tiki Taane look these days?
Well in the weekends I’m off around the planet playing shows and rocking out, then during the weekdays I’m in my studio making music for myself or other artists and, in between all that, I balance being a dad and partner while trying to keep my fitness up by going to F45 Mt Maunganui and Snap Fitness Papamoa. Oh, and walking our dog – that’s a must.


What do the next 12 months have in store for you?
Touring the planet and making music in my studio is a constant, so that will never change. But I’d say planning a wedding will be the new project on the list. I have a feeling it will probably end up being a mini festival though, by the looks of all the musicians and singers who are on the invite list. At least I won’t have to hire a band or any DJs!

www.tikidub.com

 


 

Indie-folk success

Indie-folk success


Two childhood best buddies from Christchurch have been making music since they were seven. Now their sweet harmonies and lyrics that carry messages teenagers are relating to, have created indie-folk success.

 

Indie-folk success

 

Constellations, Six Dollar Shirt and Oversized Ring are debut singles off their EP released earlier this month. Their EP We Can Only Laugh is so titled because, “We take our music seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. How can we, we’re only 17 and 18 years old,” Nat Hutton says.

“We have known each other since preschool – he’s my best friend. Our first song together was actually written in tribute to the Christchurch Earthquakes, in 2011.” Jono Stewart came from a choral background and, with his uncle James Reid the lead singer for The Feelers, was surrounded by music. “I get inspiration from whatever I’m listening to.”

Crumbs is the duo’s personal favourite track – “It includes a lot of elements.” They’ve been highly involved in productions with producer Will McGillivray from NOMAD – “a big inspiration”, as is their mentor Sacha Vee from SOLE Music Academy.

Finalists in the past two NZ Rock Quests, they made the top five in 2017. They opened for Jed Parsons here last year and will open for Australian indie folk singer, Michael Dunstan, who plays on 11 April at Blue Smoke in The Tannery. “There will be at least another single out this year – there’s lots we haven’t released yet! We just want to play music – and keep on having fun with it.”

 


For more information visit www.instagram.com/natandjono/ or find them on Facebook.


 

Fiona Pears

Wild child with a Violin


Fiona Pears was five when her mother took her to see renowned violinist Carl Pini in concert. “I just fell in love with the violin. There was something about this crazy sounding instrument. I must have nagged mum and dad because eventually I found this tiny violin in my Christmas stocking.”

 

Fiona Pears

 

At 12 years of age, Fiona was leading the Christchurch Youth Orchestra and, at 14, she joined the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. It was due to hearing beautiful Spanish and jazz melodies in her late teens that Fiona began to explore other music styles, such as Latin, Celtic, gypsy and jazz. By the time she hit her 20s, she’d found her niche.

Fiona also began composing music around this time, with much inspiration coming from overseas backpacking experiences. “I got locked out of a backpackers one night because I’d returned late from playing in a blues bar in Belgium. I ended up sleeping on the concrete outside, with my arms wrapped round my violin. I was a bit of a wild child!” She recalls seeing both Nigel Kennedy and Hungarian musician, Roby Lakatos, at Ronnie Scots. “About a month later I was asked to play at Ronnie Scots. I remember standing on the stage doing a sound check and thinking, ‘This is ridiculous – I’m standing where Roby Lakatos did!’”

 

Conversation turns to how Fiona’s life has evolved since her 2014 album Swing Driven Thing came out. The biggest life-change is that she and music producer husband, Ian, are now working in respite care, looking after foster children in the weekends so that foster parents can have a break. “I was fortunate to have had a beautiful childhood, but some of these children haven’t, so we give to them as much as we can.”
Fiona’s English born husband, Ian Tilley, has produced for Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Universal, Classic FM, and BMG. Fiona works with Ian on these albums and writes many of the orchestral arrangements. Ian then heads to the UK to finish them.

“When it comes to my stuff, it’s Ian who does everything – from production to media to posters. I get the praise for my concerts, but really, a lot of the legwork is down to him.” The Gift of Music is Fiona’s next big gig and she’s thrilled to be part of it. “I remember walking down London’s Oxford Street with Ian literally dragging me, because I was crying; then homelessness came to Christchurch and I was crying walking the streets of my own city. How can there be such a divide? Nobody wakes up and says ‘Hey, I want to be a homeless person!”

All the money raised from The Gift of Music goes to registered charity Street Wise to help pay medical expenses for the homeless. “The cynics will have their say, but I don’t think about them,” Fiona says. “This is about helping people – trying to bridge that gap between the Great Divide.”

 

 


The Gift of Music will be held at the Transitional Cathedral on Saturday 30 March. Tickets available at
www.eventfinda.co.nz.


 

Broods

A brooding good show: Q&A with Georgia Nott


Georgia and Caleb Nott, the siblings who make music together as Broods, are coming to Christchurch on March 22 with their ‘Don’t Feed the Pop Monster’ tour. We caught up with LA based Georgia ahead of the tour about what 2019 has in store.

 

Broods

 

Do you miss living in New Zealand? When was the last time you were home?
We come home a lot actually. We spend every Christmas at home with the family. We have the best of both worlds really. LA is amazing and there are so many opportunities and inspiring people here. But, we also get to come home and recharge whenever it gets hectic.

 

What does 2019 hold for Broods?
A lot of touring! Hoping that we’ll get some time here and there to keep the writing going but for the most part we’ll just be touring this album.

 

What can Christchurch fans expect from the Don’t Feed the Pop Monster tour?
This is the first time we’ve wanted to play every song on the album live. It’s gonna be a very special one to tour. This album has taken up so much space in our lives and to share it with fans in person is going to be some special sh**.

 

What advice do you have for other New Zealand musicians hoping to make it in the industry?
You really just have to get out there and do it in any shape or form you can. Say yes to collaborating and show people who you are through your music.

 

What one Kiwi thing do you miss the most living in America?
The fam! Thank god for FaceTime.

 

What would you like remembered about you?
I think it’s safe to say my music haha! I get less and less obsessed with the idea of being remembered though. I think whatever we make has to be authentic otherwise what you leave behind isn’t really you. So I’d like to be remembered for the music that I make when I am most authentic I guess.

 

What do you feel is the best song you’ve released to date and why?
Dust. It’s my soul in a song and it still holds the same gravity for me that it did the day we wrote it.

 



 

 

Dave Dobbyn

The soundtrack of New Zealand: Q&A with Dave Dobbyn


Dave Dobbyn is said to have written the soundtrack of the country, with a list of iconic Kiwi hits to his name. Heading to Christchurch to join Bryan Adams on the stage on 17 March, we caught up with him to discuss a career of hits.

 

Dave Dobbyn
Photos: SPID PYE

 


You’ve been said to have written the soundtrack of New Zealand, with some of the country’s biggest hits under your commercial belt, what have been some of your own favourites?

Well that’s always a hard one to answer because it’s my job to think of my next song as the favour-ite. For me anyway, that’s what drives me – to come up with a better song. If I didn’t believe in that, then I would just be repeating myself and that’d be fruitless and sad. So at the risk of not answering the question, I can’t have any favourites yet.

 


Out of all the artists and musicians you have worked with, who has had the biggest impact on your music career?

All of them. I’m serious. I have learnt so much from writers, artists and players, that my gratitude is huge. Firstly, I learned that you do not give up – that if you decide to be an artist and musician then you must commit your life to it. Otherwise it isn’t truly, authentically you. This way the art you come up with will have meaning. So collectively, all the artists I’ve worked with have had a huge impact on me.

 


What do you consider are some of your biggest career highlights?

Too many to list here, but a few examples: playing in prisons; singing for a dying man and his fami-ly; playing for the Hyde Park Memorial in London; playing for the Pike River Families; touring with Th’Dudes & DD Smash; touring with my band now……the highlights keep coming.

 


What are you most looking forward to on the Bryan Adams concerts?

Having supported Bryan before it is an exciting thing to play to his audience again. It’s a big buzz to meet him and his great band. We’ll rise to the occasion very well. I’m proud of my band and we will assuredly rock you. It’ll be grand.

 


Where do you draw your inspiration for songs from and how often do you put pen to paper now?

I’m always dreaming and I’ve learnt to explore them as they contain songs and a kind of deep un-knowable advice. So I listen to that in some way which drives the creativity – the need to articulate feelings and mood. It is often when you’re not looking that a song will pounce on you. The work is in finishing the jolly thing.

 


Out of all your hits, have there been any that surprised you with their success – and why?

Yes, I was pleasantly surprised that ‘Welcome Home’ made such a mark. I was thrilled that people responded to the kind of peacefulness that it aspired to. It was Christchurch that inspired that song. It grew into a very useful song that carves its own path now.

 


How does it feel both as a songwriter and as a performer, to have had such an influence over the music of a country, iconic songs that have touched lives?

It makes me feel a responsibility. It is an honour to be able to write and perform for an audience that I love in the land we all love. I’m still amazed at the freedom of that reality.

 


If you hadn’t found success as an artist, what do you think you would have done?

I think it would be a creative job. Probably making simple things. Two of my brothers are gifted craftsmen and make amazing wooden things with deft accuracy – so maybe I can still learn to make something cool.

 


How does a day in the life of Dave Dobbyn look these days?

It begins hopefully at 7:15am. Feed dog and cats, make sure dog doesn’t steal cat food by glaring at him, gently. Once the first cuppa tea has hit the spot and I hear my wife sigh happily with her tea mug at her lips, it’s into the studio for news, NYT crossword, emails and more tea (trying to quit sugar). I’m learning a lot online these days – audio production stuff especially – and political /philosophical stuff.

Play guitar and piano. Learn lap steel guitar. Mostly I’m dreaming up music and tinkering with sound. There’s always a new learning curve to take on, so now I’m learning how to use our new mixing console that sounds so darned musical I’m jumping for joy. I have a deep feeling I’ll be producing more music than ever in the next few years.

 


What does the rest of 2019 have in store for you?

Looking pretty good. I’ll be releasing new music later in the year so I’m working on that. There are a few surprises coming and some gigs locally and abroad. Keep an eye out for me and I’ll keep an eye on you.

 



 

Engelbert Humperdinck

A Sultry Swooner: Engelbert Humperdinck


Best known as a contemporary romantic balladeer, Engelbert Humperdinck’s passion for life and music appears endless.

 

Engelbert Humperdinck

 

The 82-year-old legendary entertainer is returning to Christchurch on March 2 with his The Man I Want To Be Tour and says he loved visiting New Zealand. “It’s very near and dear to me. I love New Zealand. I’m not just saying that because I’m coming there… I love it mainly because they love my music.”

First released 52 years ago on Engelbert’s Release Me album, Ten Guitars is considered by many as the unofficial anthem of New Zealand. Engelbert was delighted how popular the song became. “It’s massive over there. When I’m there I have to sing it a couple of times. I sing it once (myself) and then the audience sings it.”

With over half of a century in the musical business, the father of four and grandfather of eight says he has no plans to stop. “I’m not ready to sit in front of the fire place and put my knees up and keep watching TV. No, no, no.
“I’m still very active and my stage performance is very active… it’s almost like it used to be in the years gone by.”

 

Engelbert says people “are usually surprised at the way I move on stage”. “To be honest I don’t feel (and people tell me) I don’t look my age, thank God. I’m still moving and dancing around on stage – it’s no problem for me.”
Described often in the media as a “sultry swooner”, Engelbert has had his fair share of female attention when on stage but says “that was a thing of the past”.

Asked if he still has underwear thrown at him, he replied “No. Occasionally somebody might do it to get attention it’s a thing of the past and I’m glad because none of those panties fit me,” he laughs. He puts his agility and good health down to exercise and losing 31lbs. “I’ve just finished doing a TV special in Hawaii (which is going to be released pretty soon) and I thought ‘I must look how I used to in the old days’ so I went on a strict diet and slimmed down.”

 

His daily routine consists of half an hour on the treadmill in the morning as well as hitting the gym. “I think you should respect your body because without your body working correctly, you have no life.” The veteran singer entered the world as Arnold George Dorsey. He was born and grew up in Madras, India, as the youngest of 10 children. His family moved to Leicester, England where his music career began.

During his career he has generated sales in excess of 140 million records, including 64 gold albums and 23 platinum, four Grammy nominations, a Golden Globe, and stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Las Vegas Walk of Fame.  He has performed for the Queen four times and many dignitaries around the world. He put out his latest studio album, The Man I Want To Be in November last year with two notable covers from Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars.

Engelbert says he likes to keep up-to-date in today’s music world. “I listen to programmes like The Voice and other talent shows. I listen to the music because the people that are singing it are usually singing what is happening in today’s world… so I keep up with my musical learning in that respect.”

On his New Zealand tour he will be showcasing new music as well as original hits including Quando Quando Quando, Release Me, A Man Without Love, The Last Waltz and Am I That Easy To Forget. He says his latest album was also a love letter to his, wife of 52 years Patricia Healy, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

 

A strong believer in holistic and eastern medicine, Engelbert says she now has round the clock care at their California home but continues to fight the disease. “She does understand what you are talking about although she can’t reciprocate.”

He says her treatment consists of holistic medicine and acupuncture. “Actually you know she’s making progress… very slow… and one has to be patient and keep the prayers coming in. Eastern medicine seems to be taking an effect on her which is good.”
With a long career in the music industry, Engelbert says he’s had a few regrets – the biggest being a choice in management. “I’ve made some bad decisions in my career… for instance management, which has hindered me in my career.”

With his eyes firmly on the future, Engelebert has a message for his Christchurch fans. “You can tell them I’m happy to be coming back to their wonderful country and I hope the people who come and see my show enjoy the programme I am bringing them.”