talking with tiki: remix chats to a kiwi music legend

Tiki Taane doesn’t really sound like a guy you want to mess with! For a man who performs in front of thousands of people, he’s relatively quiet and unassuming. However, the former Salmonella Dub singer, current Shapeshifter live engineer and the man behind Kiwi summer anthem ‘Always On My Mind’, is actually a damn good guy. A Global Citizen in fact. Don’t know what that means? Flora Cheng caught up with Tiki about the Global Citizen Concert, his bond with the Shapey boys and what he’d do differently looking back on nearly twenty years in the industry…. Tiki Taane
You’ve just recorded a song called ‘Falling Angels’ with Ria Hall, which is one of a series of songs for the upcoming Global Citizens Concert. Are able to explain what the Global Citizens platform is all about for those who haven’t heard of it before? It’s about unity, love and consciousness. It’s about every one of us making positive changes to the way we live and care for each other. Why do you think it’s so important for upcoming generations to become Global Citizens? We all have a part to play in making the world a better place. By doing nothing is the biggest problem of all. ‘Falling Angels’ is a really beautiful song! What kind of message do you hope fans will get from it? Aw thank you! The message I hope the fans will get is that it’s not how you fall that matters but how you pick yourself and others up that determines your true character. When you sit down to write a new song who or what inspires you? My songs come from personal experiences – some good, some bad. So writing about those sorts of things can be intense and in some ways it’s a healing process as well because sometimes you’ve got to go deep and that can be a traumatic process. Before recording ‘Falling Angels’ your paths with Ria had crossed when you were both nominated for the Maori of the Year Award in 2011. What was it like being a finalist for such a prestigious award? Pretty nerve-wracking really! I still haven’t gotten used to winning awards or being nominated for them. Maybe because I still have so much more to do & improve on. Of course I am very humbled by the experience and one day I could find peace with it all. A lot of young people look up to you and see you as being a role model, if you could give them one valuable piece of advice what would it be? You can’t fly like an eagle if you’re knocking around with turkeys. I love that! You work with and are also very good friends with the boys from Shapeshifter. What’s it like having such a close working relationship with people you are such good friends with? Shapeshifter are my family and we have been through so much together over the last 14 years. I have and will follow them into battle any day, no questions asked. I’m so proud of their achievements and what they have become. We will always be close even long after the last Shapeshifter gig is played. That kind of love and respect has been built through years and years of being in the trenches together, shit that I will never forget. Looking back at when you first started your career to where you are now is there anything you would change or do differently? You know what, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve been very blessed to have been in the right place at the right time, even if it took years later to recognise that. In the 21 years of doing this music thang I’ve experienced a lot of unforgettable moments that have changed my life. The cool thing is I know there is still plenty more to come. If you could walk in the shoes of any artist dead or alive for the day, who would it be and why?  Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock because that shits cray! What is coming up on the horizon for you? I have a few albums to produce for some very talented local acts. I’ve also got my LIVE string orchestra album to release at some point with a tour to follow. My acoustic album needs finishing as well it has been sitting there gathering dust although I’ve worked out that there is no rush with that puppy so it could be another 5 years before that hits the shelf. Amongst all of that is the touring and the gigs which keeps me young!