It's hard to reduce legendary band Split Enz down to a single sound or image. Soon after forming in 1973, they began dressing like oddball circus performers, and their music straddled folk, vaudeville and art rock. Later the songs got shorter, poppier and — some say —better, and the visuals were toned down...but you could never accuse the Enz of looking biege. With Split Enz co-founder Tim Finn turning 65 in June 2017, this collection looks back at one of Aotearoa's most successful and eclectic bands. Writer Michael Higgins unravels the evolution of the Enz here.
Australian Idol winner Stan Walker made his acting debut in Tearepa Kahi’s feature film Mt Zion, as a potato picker from Pukekohe who dreams of supporting his idol Bob Marley at Marley's 1979 Auckland concert. This song from the film’s soundtrack combines Mt Zion’s reggae sounds with Walker’s more R’n’B/soul style. The video mixes scenes from the film with a performance from Walker (displaying the tattoos that were deemed too modern for a period piece, and had to be covered up for the movie).
In the 1990s Maree Sheehan was one of a small number of Māori women who used Māori instrumentation to create their own special flavour of dance music, hip hop and R'n'B. The video for this highly percussive R’n’B track from 1995 features performances by kapa haka group Te Ao Hurihanga. The stylish monochrome clip was partially shot on Auckland's One Tree Hill, before it lost its famous tree. Josh Frizzell, who directed this, had recently helmed one of the most played Kiwi music videos of 1994 — System Virtue, for Māori singer Emma Paki.
“When I kiss your lips I don’t feel alone no more…”. Vince Harder’s tribute to that very special person marked the second single on the X Factor finalist's 2011 album The Space Between. The R&B ballad features Harder's Illegal Musik labelmate, rapper K. One. Prolific promo director Ivan Slavov (Katchafire, P Money, Deep Obsession) directs the romance (loving looks, fireside kissess). The object of Vince’s affection is played by Shushila Takao (Filthy Rich, Rarotongan-set BBC series Tatau).
Director Tom Gould takes hip hop to the Hokianga in his promo for the 2013 David Dallas single. Framed around Dallas rapping in historic St Gabriel’s Church, it lays the song’s urban R&B over images of the title activity — a young boy runnin' free on a Mitimiti road, and galloping horses on a far northern beach. Gould: "I wanted to film something that was bigger than just a human running. I wanted the visual to escalate in the same way that the song does." The video is nominated for a 2014 Tui Award; the song featured on the soundtrack of video game FIFA 14.
This upbeat track is one of a number from Maree Sheehan which blends R'n'B and hip hop with Māori instrumentation and language. It was featured on the soundtrack of local blockbuster Once Were Warriors. Acclaimed kapa haka group Waka Huia sing on the track, and perform in the video. Director Matt Palmer also helmed the video for JPS Experience classic 'Breathe'.
This black and white music video features Chong-Nee and guest vocalist Niki Ahu encouraging a neighbour to drop her two-timing boyfriend. The song peaked at number 17 on the New Zealand charts in early 2006. The video was one of three directed by Martha Jeffries for John Chong-Nee's debut album Just Getting By On Love. Jeffries later relocated to the United States, where she directed episodes of Emmy award-winning climate change series Years of Living Dangerously.
After ten years performing together, Ardijah released their debut album Take a Chance to platinum sales and a 1988 NZ Music Award for Most Promising Group. One of three Top 10 hits off the album, 'Time Makes a Wine' is punctuated by clever light direction and a bright colour palette. All the way through silhouettes, smoke and an upright bass add to the video’s visual appeal. A few questionable hairstyles aside however, it’s the bright animation, reminiscent of A-ha’s classic Take On Me video (and only a couple of years after), that proves the most eye-catching.
'Travellin' On' could be a theme song for veteran musicians everywhere — and blues legend Midge Marsden has recorded this Murray Grindlay song on three occasions. This version is quieter and more reflective, in keeping with the Europa commercial Marsden appeared in during the 1980s (for which Grindlay took lead vocal). Later the pair joined American Stevie Ray Vaughan for a far rockier take. Footage from the various adverts is reprised here, but the blue/gray wash, along with shots of Midge's travels, make this rendition more of a remembrance of a life spent on the road.
Luke Sharpe’s video for the 2008 number one hit sets out to educate audiences about the Nesian style: replete with graffiti hibiscus, hawaiian shirts ... and hot teacher. The band is shot in front of a green screen, with totems uniting their central Auckland upbringing with their ancestral Polynesian past shown behind them. From baggy jeans to greenstone pendants, corned beef to fish’n’chips, the references nod to the South Pacific influences on the Mystik sound: “Just keep it fresh no matter where you be.” It won Best Hip Hop Video at the 2008 Juice TV Awards.