Behind The Music: Tautoko Album – Tipene [Part One]
Title: Tautoko Album
Tipene: Ive always had ambitions to do something with music from a young age. After good feedback from a few demo tapes circulating around the hood in the late 90′s. I joined a group ‘Tribal Syndicate’ in ’99 with ZombeatZ and Wox Pierson in which I am still currently part of. I met DLT 2004 and he almost jokingly told me I was “a bit green and maybe I needed to go have a look over in New York or somthin’ for a bit of background on hiphop! “, so in Dec,2005 I did. I stayed in the Bronx for about 3 weeks and my journey with this album started when I jumped on the plane to come home. I had already written Hearty Kahungunu before I left home but my experience in America helped my connect better with the song which I conveyed in my live performances. The track was never officially released until NZ Hiphop Summit 2011. The “Tautoko E.P” version of the album was initially released to fundraise for the unveilings of both my late mother,Daphne and nephew,Richard. We have since raised the money to purchase the headstones and plan to have the ceremony in Sept 2012. Meanwhile the ep had made waves in NZ after DLT debuting the E.P on the “Hold up! ” on Base FM 107.3. The E.P has since had 4 new tracks added for the album version. In total 7 of the 10 tracks have been featured in Hiphop NZ weekly Top 5. This ultimately led to me signing with Auckland based label Empire Records NZ which will distribute my music through warner music. Life made this album possible and I dedicate this to everybody who tautoko (supported) me along the way. This is just the beginning…..
1. Letcha’ know (Prod. by ZombeatZ)
I rekon every MC should have a signature song and when ZombeatZ played me that beat I thought this was the perfect oppertunity to do my thing showing off my range of skill adding a lil bit of cheek at the same time. Always dropping the kaupapa(rhyme n reason) some ol’ fashion hori humour. I also in the past have had problems with people pronouncing my name wrong so this was the best way to “letcha’ know” the correct way.
2. Doing My Thing (Prod. by ZombeatZ)
This track was partly inspired by the feedback from my different circles that didnt know I did music. Their reactions were like “….is that the bro up there…?” “Doing my thing” is also about me keeping my faith in music knowing that people come and go in this industry, but I wanted to prove I am a stayer. The 90′s era of Hiphop is my favourite and one of my early influences as a teen were Bone Thugs n Harmony. They were inescapable at the time so as you can imagine I became accustomed to their style. I guess this track reflects on an influential era for me musically. Had alot of fun with this track “Chea,chea,chea,cheeyah bo!
3. West Side Hori (Prod. by Juse MTC)
The song title is a spin off the movie “west side story”. This is my story on how music mentored me through all of the negative temptations that surrounded me on a daily bases growing up on the “west side” of Flaxmere. West side hori is full of vivid memories I have growing up around alcohol abuse,child abuse,drugs family break-ups, gang life you name it. I discovered a love for music through all of the regular parties at home. I started hearing a deeper meaning in the music and began disecting old school RnB and soul songs at a very young age. I found a deeper understanding for the music that carried me right through my life. This track explains how music saved me. There is a ‘hood’ in every neighbourhood, I just put a name on it.
4. Hearty Kahungunu (Prod. by ZombeatZ)
This track really put me on the map as an artist. It still holds its mana to this day even though it was writen in 05′. This is still one of my favourite songs to perform and most highly requested songs to date. Im proud of my Ngati Kahungunu heritage so this track is right up there for me. Whakapapa(geneology) is crucial, especially now days with Te reo maori being a rare skill. The song was inspired by ancient Maori waiata “Kahungunu e, Rongomai Wahine” which tell the story of the Ngati Kahungunu people.
5. Time In The Sunshine (Prod. by Zombeatz)
Summer is my favourite time of year so this was an easy track to write. From cooking lambs tails on an open fire to diving for kaimoana(seafood) and doing bombs off the trees at the river. There’s so much we get up to in the summer it was a must for this album. I met Majic at her at the Hastings Opera House through one of my close friends. I knew she would be perfect for this track with her vibrant, soulful voice that just reeks of summer vibes.
You can keep up with Tipene here, part 2 coming next week.. stay tuned.