Nesian Mystik was formed in 1999 by a group of teens from diverse Polynesian backgrounds, who wanted to make hip hop/R&B with lyrics and musical influences reflecting their experiences of Aotearoa and the Pacific Islands. They hold the record for the most top 10 singles in the New Zealand charts by a Kiwi artist.
In this interview, recorded for 2003 TV series Give It A Whirl, band members (from left to right) David Atai, Feleti Strickson-Pua, Donald McNulty and Te Awanui Reeder cover many topics, including:
The diverse cultural and musical background of the band
Appreciating geographical privilege and opportunity (4 minutes in)
Hip hop being a fast-growing market in Aotearoa in the 2000s (8 minutes in)
The influence of Herbs and other Polynesian music on cultural relations (11 minutes)
The messages in Nesian Mystik’s music (13 minutes)
Musical mentors (15 minutes)
Finding new inspiration, genres, and lyrics (20 minutes)
Their desire to see international listeners relate to Polynesian music (25 minutes)
Read more about Nesian Mystik, on AudioCulture (NZ On Screen's sister website)
This interview was recorded for the 2003 season of TV series Give it a Whirl. All audiovisual content is copyright to Visionary Film & TV, and may not be reproduced.
...what we try to do is not box ourselves too much into one sort of flavour ... we're one of those groups who run off inspiration.– Rapper Feleti Strickson-Pua describes Nesian Mystik's many styles and influences