There is "something about her voice and something about the way she carries herself that is so beautiful". So wrote Real Groove of Aotearoa's queen of soul-infused hip hop. Ladi6 (aka Karoline Tamati) started her MC/vocalist journey as part of all-girl group Sheelahroc. Her voice shone in collaborations with NZ hip hop nobility, before debut solo album Time Is Not Much in 2008. Taite Prize-winner The Liberation Of... saw Ladi6 named Best Female Artist at the 2011 NZ Music Awards, and taking away her second gong for Best Urban/Hip Hop Album. Third album Automatic made it into a number of 'best of 2013' lists. 

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Diamonds

2013 - Music video

Set in London, this music video offers a Bonnie and Clyde-style tale, inspired by lyrics which contrast life for rich and poor, and speak of “churning butter into diamonds”. After opening with the discovery of a body in a wedding dress, the clip offers up a prelude to the death. The video contrasts the pair’s apparent romantic entanglement with their escalating crime spree, from petty theft to armed robbery. The widescreen clip was directed by London-based Kiwis Claire Littler and Ralph Matthews.

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Like Water

2011 - Music video

This smoky, soul-inflected love song comes from hip hop diva Ladi6's second album The Liberation Of... (winner of the 2011 Taite Music Prize). Water might be the chosen metaphor for love here but director Faye McNeil provides no glimpses at all of the wet stuff. Instead, the deep blue oases are graphical — the work of street and graffiti artists The Cut Collective. The sands that Ladi6 treks across are dunes at Te Paki in the Far North (where it rained for all but five hours of the three day shoot). It was a Best Video finalist at the 2011 NZ Music Awards.

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Walk Right Up

2007 - Music video

Luxurious colours and swanky costumes abound in this music video directed by the multi-talented Oscar Kightley (Sione's Wedding, Harry). Featured are cameos from Scribe and the director himself. The simple but elegantly-executed concept sees Ladi6 (aka Karoline Tamati) alternate between channelling Billie Holiday and streetwise personas. The song is taken from the debut Ladi6 album Time is Not Much (2008), which debuted at number four on the New Zealand music charts.