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No Artificial Flavours


The streets of Auckland City have developed the unique blend of the three musicians known as No Artificial Flavours. Consisting of the MC, Taaz, DJ Manchoo, and singer Cherene Clarke, No Artificial Flavours throws these three sounds into the mix and extracts a pure dopeness that could make a Colombian drug lord pull out his wallet.

All three members of No Artificial Flavours are heavyweights in their respective categories, each bringing the full force of their elements into the list of ingredients that make the No Artificial Flavours sound, a sound that has been developing for a few years now. Although all three came together in 2001, the N.A.F. story begins earlier than the 21st century. Taaz, formerly a member of the legendary Aotearoa hip-hop outfit, Dam Native, is a veteran of New Zealand hip-hop. His credentials include opening for American Nu-Metal band Linkin Park with West Auckland group Blindspott, MCing the Bone Thugs-n-Harmony New Zealand concert, and as a Battle MC and the only New Zealand B-Boy to have successfully evolved into an MC. With hype skills and a live show that can only be gifted from God, Taaz is a truly blessed artist.

DJ Manchoo has also been around for some time. Long enough, in fact to have been announced the back-to-back NZ ITF Champion for 2002 and 2003, and to have been given more titles than Prince. This year he rose to number 8 in the world in the ITF circuits, which proves that both Manchoo and No Artificial Flavours are ready to make an impact on the global hip-hop scene.

Taaz and Manchoo met in 1997 at chef school, where they began their comradeship that would lead to the formation of N.A.F. once Cherene Clarke made her appearance. Cherene became involved when she met Taaz while he was passing on his knowledge of hip-hop in a hip-hop class at Auckland University. Cherene, as a member of the renowned NZ Youth Choir, is an experienced vocalist, and her aspect of music, when added to the mixture of scratching and spitting from Manchoo and Taaz, complete No Artificial Flavours and their sound.

Their first track, 'Mah People', was selected to be put onto DJ Sir-Vere's 'Major Flavours 2' Aotearoa bonus disk in 2002, proving that the three had merged successfully. In the interim between this successful release, and the release of the reality-riddled hit, 'Sweet Azz Bro', the group kept the N.A.F. name alive through live performances at events such as the Freshfest, Hip-hop summit, and Taaz's performances at the Big Day Out, where he added hand-to-hand combat to his already respectable list of skills as he straightened out a rowdy spectator.

Upon being signed by one of the godfathers of Aotearoa Hip-hop, DLT, to his label, Machaventa, No Artificial Flavours released the three-year-old track 'Sweet Azz Bro', which proved the extent of their skill and potential. The song combined true musical talent with the raw sounds of hip-hop, and Taaz's truthful lyrics describing the lives of many of his peers and friends, making it one of the most musical hip-hop releases to date in New Zealand. However, as Taaz says in the opening verse, "Got no time for lame topics like a party", the song proved too real, and a lot of radio stations, who were looking for songs on the topic of parties, labeled the song as "dark", and refused to play it.

This has done little to slow No Artificial Flavours' meteoric rise to fame, and their next single, 'Homeland', is due out in 2004, and an album is currently in the works.

Band Members:
MC Taaz
DJ Manchoo
Cherene Clarke

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