Shae Sterling boasts an eclectic resume — as a musician, record label founder, and director of music videos, documentaries and movies. Sterling was behind a long run of music videos for artists such as Stan Walker, Brooke Fraser, Scribe and TLC's T-Boz. He also directed on successful performance car DVD series High Octane. In 2000 Sterling's track 'Liferider' — recorded under the name The Sagittarian — became the most-downloaded dance track in Australasia that year. In 2018 Sterling released his first feature film, Alien Addiction, which he also financed. He described it as an "absurd, sci-fi comedy".
Self-financing was hard because there's not much money in music videos. So I would bust my balls making three or four music videos in five or six weeks or something. Mental stuff. And whatever profits I had I'd put back into the movie. Shae Sterling, on self-funding his first feature film Alien Addiction, The NZ Herald, 8 November 2018
Internet comedy sensations Jimi Jackson and Thomas Sainsbury have a close encounter with some aliens in this big screen sci-fi comedy. On learning that a UFO has crash-landed near his Waikato town, Riko (Jackson) ends up clashing with Peter the 'alientologist' (Sainsbury), whose thoughts on aliens are far from friendly. Alien Addiction is the first movie from director Shae Sterling, who has directed music videos for artists including Stan Walker, Scribe, Brooke Fraser and Maisey Rika.
Made for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, this video mixes Kiwi landscapes with images of disabled athletes and performers, showing what they are capable of. The song’s lead vocalists, Natalie Te Paa and Cam Dawson, are both blind. Helping out behind the scenes are Callum Martin (The Checks), Leza Corban (Strawpeople) and ex-Split Enz members Eddie Rayner and Mike Chunn. As well as being an unofficial anthem for the Rio Olympics, the song aims to raise awareness of the 25% of New Zealanders who live with some form of disability.
Launched for 2014's Māori Language Week, the NZ Music Award-nominated video for 'Aotearoa' is a showcase of Kiwi scenery and musical talent, led by main vocalist Stan Walker. 'Aotearoa' began when TV producer Mātai Smith, aware 1983’s 'Poi-E' was the last te reo song to hit number one, thought it might be nice to repeat the feat (in the end he had to settle for number two). Walker wrote the track with his Mt Zion co-star Troy Kingi and singers Vince Harder and Ria Hall. Hall calls the result “a song to celebrate our nation, our landscape, our uniqueness, our language and our people”.
In this colourful video Australian Idol victor Stan Walker works his wardrobe and dance moves at the bottom of Auckland's Point Erin Pool, with help from singer (and aunt!) Ria Hall. Director Shae Stirling doubles up the action, thanks to copious use of split screen. Copy written for the video's premiere on website Stuff describes the song as being about knowing that a relationship is over, but trying to keep it going regardless. In the same year Walker made his big screen debut in hit movie Mt Zion, judged The X Factor NZ and opened onstage for Beyoncé.
This soulful invocation, sung in te reo, to Tangaroa — Māori god of the sea — comes from singer-songwriter Maisey Rika's third album. The instrumentation includes a string quartet and traditional taonga pūoro instruments played by Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper. Director Shae Stirling’s music video has a vibrant clarity. It places Rika in the bush and the forest, in the surf and on the smouldering, volcanic landscape of Whakaari/White Island as she hails Tangaroa as commander of the tides while dolphins and whales provide further evidence of his life force.
Featuring chase scenes, hovering helicopters and breathtaking South American scenery, the video for 'Far From Here' sees Vince Harder on the run from police in the Chilean capital, Santiago. Harder moves across cityscapes, villages and mountain ridges, and even finds time to perform in front of a spectacular Andean backdrop, while evading capture. Harder rose to fame after coming third in the Australian edition of US show The X-Factor, and had a number one hit after collaborating with P-Money on 2010's 'Everything'. The video was shot and directed by Shae Sterling.
The lead single off Maisey Rika’s 2009 self-titled EP is accompanied by a delicate and moody music video. After catching up with supportive friends, Rika continues singing her song about starting over in Auckland's Albert Park. Then she hits the road in in the back of a ute, playing her way through Auckland city and on into the countryside. The 'Letting Go' single helped Rika's EP reach the NZ Top 40, following on from her previous double-platinum success — when at age 13 she released an award-winning album of traditional Māori song, E Hine.
Coming on like a 1970s exploitation film, this video sees The Sagittarian (aka Shae Sterling) pounding the streets of Bangkok in a white suit and sunglasses. While on the hunt for a mysterious quarry, he encounters guns, breakdancing monks and some spectacular scenery. Fellow musician and filmmaker Mikey Rockwell, who features on the track, adds a touch of comedy in the finale. The video won a Knack Award at the 2007 Kodak Fringe Awards. After Sterling starred in this, he went on to direct videos for many other musicians, including Stan Walker and Maisey Rika.