4 Dec 2023

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Moisty Atsushi


Atsushi Ukito, aka "Moisty Atsushi" emigrated to New Zealand in 1999 from Japan. That year he joined Auckland ska band Risto Rockers as guitarist and songwriter. Later that year he joined local ska/punk band Skivvy, on trumpet and back-up vocals. Atsushi toured New Zealand with both bands, as well as playing countless local gigs. In 1999 the Risto Rockers also played as support for American pop/ska/punk band Less Than Jake. In 2001 Skivvy released their debut EP While Stock Lasts, with Puppy Killer Records releasing the compilation The Pick of the Litter (featuring the Risto Rockers) later that year. Meanwhile Atsushi continued to write and record his own tunes.

With a near-obsessive passion for 1960s Jamaican ska and rocksteady music, Atsushi started a solo project in 2003, evolving it by 2007 into popular Auckland ska/reggae band Atsushi and The Moisties. Under his leadership, the band looked to recreate the sound of early Jamaican ska, releasing their Sound of the Ska EP in 2008, and sold-out vinyl 7" Kingsland the Great in 2010. Atsushi and The Moisties have performed at countless shows and festivals around the country, alongside both local and international acts. As part of his high-energy stage act with The Moisties, Atsushi dons animal costumes on-stage, a unique performance aspect the band is renowned for.

During 2010 and 2011 Atsushi has promoted events for, toured with, and performed alongside Chris Murray (USA), DJ Mossman (Canada - Musical Director of Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae), and Stranger Cole (Jamaica). Travelling to South America last year, he performed with several Moisties members in Brazil, and recorded with Daniel from Satellite Kingston (based in Buenos Aires, Argentina). He has also recently toured as Auckland-based artist Miho Wada's lead guitarist and helped coordinate her 2010 World Tour. While touring France in 2010 he recorded In Bed during the Riot: Live in France with Miho Wada.

Combining his passion for music and love of teaching, in 2009 Atsushi formed The Mini Moisties "ska for kids"; a full ska band featuring eleven and twelve year-old children performing original Moisties songs. The Mini Moisties have successfully established their own following in Auckland, recently performing in Aotea Square and on the main stage at the Kiwi Day Out festival in the Auckland Domain.

Atsushi continually works hard to grow and develop the ska/reggae community in Auckland and has started a series of events to bring together and help celebrate the diversity of Auckland reggae music. He also recently organized the ska/reggae benefit show, Stand Rocksteady for Christchurch. The Aotearoa Rocksteady website is his most recent brainchild, uniting ska and reggae artists and supporters across New Zealand, in order to strengthen the community and firmly establish ska, reggae, and rocksteady music in New Zealand. By continuing to promote overseas artists in New Zealand (like Stranger Cole, DJ Mossman and Chris Murray), Atsushi hopes to help connect world reggae music with the Aotearoa scene.

December 2011 saw the release of "Speedo", a Moisty Atsushi solo project, featuring two tracks performed by The Mini Moisties. Atsushi is a songwriter, guitarist, artist, promoter, DJ, producer and teacher. Atsushi's past and future plans have always pointed to the same goal: to elevate the Aotearoa ska/reggae movement to an international standard.





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