Formed in 1999, Nesian Mystik melded Māori, Tongan, Samoan and Cook Island heritage to become one of the biggest names in New Zealand music. Starting out in the music room of Auckland's Western Springs College — along with one member from St Paul's College — the band composed all its own material, including beats and rhymes. Major influences were R’n’B, hip-hop, reggae, and the band’s central Auckland Polynesian upbringing. Nesian Mystik called it quits in early 2011, after 10 years, 10 Top 10 songs and four albums.
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.
“Hello my name is ...” This starts out as a happy video for the song ‘Operation Fob’, but the smiles soon disappear as the band walk away from set and head through Auckland city. They head for a community centre for a meeting of ‘Brothaz Anonymous’. The skeptical janitor watches from the doorway as band member and ‘bros’ gets up and express. The band then plays a series of group therapy games and eventually, bust out the guitar and ask the janitor to join in. End result? Brothaz in arms. ‘Brothaz’ was the fifth single from the hit Polysaturated album.
The concept for this 2003 video sees the Nesian boys preparing for a party while snapping and sharing (probably then-expensive) 'pixt' photos of each other and the Mystik people in their lives. The perils of public snoozing in the mobile age are shown. As music video aficionado Robyn Gallagher has noted elsewhere, this snap happy, pre-smartphone video nearly anticipates that in the future, "an entire music video will be able to be shot on a phone camera." 'For the People' was a Top 10 single from Nesian Mystik’s hit album Polysaturated.
In this Dave Garbett-directed Nesian Mystik music video a secret force of Polynesian Grey Lynn agents work to unify the community by taking their message to the streets, then to a television station. In scenes that showcase the band's sense of humour — and echoing a real-life 1995 takeover of One Network News by Māori protestors — the boys manage to take over the airwaves, where they transmit their own brand of 'Nesian programming: from master-chefing taro and bully beef to bro-senting the news. ‘Unity’ was a Top 10 single from the hit Polysaturated album.