20 Sep 2021

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Tipene – Tautoko

Despite being categorised as a hip-hop artist, Tipene reaches much more than just a hip-hop audience with his music, catering to all New Zealanders with his phrases and references to things like Pounamu pendants, gumboots, lamb tails, Kina and the classic phrase ‘Goin hundy.

His debut album Tautoko is set to be released with some of the most recognised Kiwi musicians of the past 30 years featuring on the album. The opening track of the same name samples For the Life of Me by Prince Tui Teka, an iconic entertainment great. The record largely reflects Tipene’s pride and love for his Maori heritage, friends and his family. Tipene pays homage to NZ Hip hop greats in Pioneers. He tells of growing up in the heartland of New Zealand with his track B.A.D., meaning (Hawkes) Bay All Day, and his new single Nanny's House will bring up memories for many Kiwis who have found an escape, Kai (food), acceptance and lessons that carve out our character at Nanny’s House. With tracks produced by NZ’s finest production talent including Sickdrumz (Rihanna, Lil Wayne), Juse (Smashproof) and Chong Nee (Che Fu, Pieter T) and Tipene himself claims production credits on Nanny’s House. The album features vocals from Che Fu, Majic, Dam Native, Sid Diamond, Tyna Keelan, Koma (Four Corners), PT (Pieter T), Mareko, Kaleb Hill (K.One) and Fortafy.

With an upcoming album that has been ‘35 years in the making’, 5 of them in the public eye, it also sets itself apart with features from some of New Zealand’s biggest music names across generations together on an album unlike ever seen before, including artists such as Prince Tui Teka, Dam Native, Che Fu and Scribe. Each song on his album Tautoko (meaning support) is a personal anecdote into what growing up on New Zealand music and living in the provinces around the turn of the century has been like for rural Maori.

Tipene has supported The Wailers, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Fiji, J Boog and Joe Walsh (The Eagles), also playing to crowds at Splore, Ragamuffin Roadshow, Exodus and East Coast Vibes. His 2012 release West Side Hori earned him a finalist nomination for the APRA Silver Scroll Awards the following year. The remix version featuring Sid Diamond and Sir T has clocked up more than one million views on YouTube.

The Ngati Kahungunu native holds strong ties to his community and reflects this through his work. Tipene is dedicated to helping others and was named 'Rangatahi Leadership Award' in 2016 and Flaxmere hero in 2014 for his contribution to his community. He has supported the youth alcohol expo and helped to raise awareness for youth suicide, and has been mentoring up and coming musicians with the New Zealand Music Commission for the past two years. Tipene also opened “The Niche Aotearoa”, a creative arts hub in Hastings which supports local talent in music, dance, film and art. They offer music production services, music workshops and free youth leadership programmes, providing platforms for locals to unleash their creativity.

Tipene’s work is truly something special which New Zealanders can effortlessly connect with. The stories he tells through each song enables New Zealanders to relate to and resonate with what he’s expressing. Featuring some of the most iconic musicians, Tautoko is set to become a landmark part of New Zealand music and its history.

Tipene is now Auckland based which means we will be seeing and hearing a lot more from him in 2019. Tihei mauri ora!

Band Members:
Tipene Harmer


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  • Auckland

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