To celebrate the final week of NZ Music Month, Rolling Stone AU/NZ asked a selection of musicians to name their favourite Aotearoa artists and explain what makes them so unique.
tei. is a producer and singer-songwriter making waves in Aotearoa R&B and hip hop. Her latest single, “Primal”, may sound sexy and cool on the surface, but it’s about the jealousy and insecurity of a former partner.
“They would become extremely jealous when I was just out at the club working and performing or seeing my friends,” she says.
“The song is basically me trying to prove myself as loyal while making light of the situation and still being sexy about it. I think it’s a mood many people have experienced, where they’re just trying to have fun and get lit, but some people try to bring them down.”
While tei. is finding her own sound these days, there was a particular artist that massively influenced her when she was growing up in Central Auckland.
Below, she explains what makes Che Fu so special:
My favourite Kiwi act who inspired me the most growing up as a young musician in central Tāmaki Makaurau was Che Fu. Growing up in and around Grey Lynn meant I was exposed to some of the most innovative R&B and hip hop coming out of Aotearoa during the late 90’s and early 2000’s, and Che Fu was a huge part of that.
At the time as a kid I didn’t know what it was that was drawing me to the music, I just loved it! But now I have the language for it – melodic innovation, poly-harmony, lyricism, storytelling at its finest.
Che Fu is the true meaning of an artist, and soldier for his people. I’ll never forget “Fade Away” – it was blown on sirens down all the backstreets, the message of that song made me believe I could be more than just a kid from the central suburbs. I wanted to move mountains every time I heard that song.