Part Māori, part Niuean hip hop/reggae star Che Fu made his name in Supergroove as Che Ness, then became a successful solo artist. One hip hop show billed him as Che-Fu, a take on kung-fu; the name stuck. Weeks after leaving Supergroove, ‘Chains' — a collaboration with DLT — spent five weeks at number one. Debut album 2b S.Pacific (1997) spawned three more chart-toppers and went double platinum, then unheard of in local urban music. Alongside further solo releases, Che Fu has performed with King Kapisi as Hedlok, and with Supergroove. In 2009 he was named a Member of the NZ Order of Merit.
The video for this hymn to the joys of co-operation from Che Fu’s third album Beneath the Radar had its origins in the shot of him dressed like a Japanese warrior on the cover of his previous album The Navigator. Director and animator Shane Mason and artist Gary Yong (aka Enforce1) from The Cut Collective set out to provide a back story for that image. Taking inspiration from anime and old samurai films, they placed Che Fu in a post apocalyptic world with a band of guerrillas on a mission to reactivate music towers closed down by an evil overlord.
This soulful number was the first single from Che Fu’s second album The Navigator. It marked the debut of his new band, The Krates. The ambitious video translates the song’s message of undying friendship to a World War II setting (filmed at the NZ Warbirds Association hangar at Ardmore Airport). Che-Fu’s Supergroove bandmate turned Krates drummer Paul Russell plays the cheeky English chap, while P-Money has found some turntables that possibly aren’t authentic wartime issue. Fade Away was judged Best Music Video and Single of the Year at the 2002 NZ Music Awards.
Taking as its subjects a boy discovering new sounds on the radio and a soundtrack that gives purpose to a woman’s life, ‘Misty Frequencies’ is a soulful hip-hop hymn to the power of music. Che Fu’s music video places the singer and his band in a giant Tetris-like computer game before plugging into a bush setting (locations representing his musical yin and yang of technology and passion?). A magic mushroom prefigures the tree ferns collapsing in a heap of CGI bricks. ‘Misty Frequencies’ won the 2002 APRA Silver Scroll for Che Fu and co-writer Godfrey de Grut.
Che Fu’s influential debut album 2b S.Pacific (1998) melded Pasifika with reggae, soul and hip hop, to create a unique musical home brew. The first single 'Scene III' went to number four on the local charts, and this follow-up (a double A-side, paired with 'Machine Talk') got to the top in October 1998. Cinematographer Duncan Cole (Born to Dance) directs the music video, which sees a pair of Fu personas (street and club?) facing cameras in a film studio, while singing about making "the planet shake". Later Che Fu adds some comedy to a breakdance battle.
Che Fu goes Kung Fu and travels to a music video version of Chinatown, in this shadowy clip directed by Alicia Williams. The oriental styles suit the mellow groove of the song, right down to the Mao collars. The award-winning singer makes the moves, while harbouring an infatuation for a beautiful DJ whose face is "dancing in my head".