A phenomenal talent, Jordan Rakei is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter/producer with an incredible soul voice, preparing to release his new album 'Wallflower' via Ninja Tune on 22nd September 2017. The record frames soul and jazz in a truly vibrant oeuvre simultaneously recalling his predecessors The Roots and peers The Internet, Nick Hakim and Hiatus Kaiyote.
The new single ‘Nerve’ is a sweetly swung groove founded on warm organ, bass and effortlessly understated guitar licks courtesy of Dave Okumu (The Invisible). “The song is about the concept of loving yourself wholly and truly before you offset that love onto others,” explains Jordan.
The New Zealand born, London-based artist is riding high with amazing support from BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac and Huw Stephens; Mistajam, Toddla T and Jamz Supernova at BBC 1Xtra; plus a coveted playlist spot over at BBC Radio 6 Music in addition to incredible support from Mary Anne Hobbs, Lauren Laverne and Gilles Peterson. He has played Pitchfork Avant-Garde Block Party, Annie Mac Presents, supported Jamie Woon and NAO, and collaborated with Disclosure, Taku, FKJ, Tom Misch, Loyle Carner and Richard Spaven. In 2016 he also released an EP of dancefloor-focused tracks via Rhythm Section under the moniker Dan Kye.
In September, Jordan heads out on his first headline US tour and with several gigs selling out in double quick time, additional shows have been added to meet the demand in New York and San Francisco. The European leg begins on 11th October in Birmingham and takes in Bristol, Brighton, Manchester, Nottingham and London (at Shepherd's Bush Empire).
Newly signed to Ninja Tune, Jordan Rakei has battled his inner demons and written an inspirational, soul-stirring record in the process. Titled “Wallflower” which will be released on 22nd September 2017.
At only 25, the multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer - born in New Zealand to a Kiwi mother and father from the Cook Islands - is a rare talent whose distinct take on soul captures a sonic and emotional awareness many artists spend their entire careers chasing. He writes with a maturity and flair that belies his years and new album “Wallflower” sees Jordan edging beyond the peripheries of the genial, often sun-flecked sound his fans have come to know him for. The easy swing that has been the backbone of his sound from the outset is ever present, harking back to teenage days spent in his bedroom with his beloved MPC trying to emulate 9th Wonder and Pete Rock. On “Wallflower” the tools and the process have evolved - the focus is on live instrumentation - but the groove and the cadence are unmistakable, framing soul and jazz in a truly vibrant oeuvre that simultaneously recalls his predecessors The Roots and peers The Internet, Nick Hakim and Hiatus Kaiyote.
Jordan’s whirlwind rise has been a predominately solo effort. His exceptional musical ability (he writes, sings and plays most of the instrumentation on his records himself) is accompanied by an unrelenting - yet agreeably humble - ambition. His aptitude and knack for songwriting caught the attention of tastemakers following the release of his 2014 EP "Groove Curse”. His self-released debut album “Cloak” (2016) lit the blue touch paper, earning him a coveted set at Pitchfork Avant-Garde Block Party that year; supports for the likes of Jamie Woon and NAO; and a call-up to play AMP. Drawing early support from the Soulection crew, he has collaborated with Taku, Tom Misch, FKJ, and lent vocals to the Disclosure track ‘Masterpiece’ (from their 2015 album “Caracal”) after the duo were tipped off by a friend who had seen Jordan play a tiny basement bar in Australia. At radio, Jordan has been championed at BBC R1/1Xtra by Annie Mac, Huw Stephens, Mistajam, Jamz Supernova, Toddla T plus Mary Anne Hobbs and Gilles Peterson at BBC Radio 6 Music.
Jordan considers “Wallflower” his most personal work yet - it’s an emotive opus inspired by his own struggles with introversion and anxiety. Sonically lush and complex, yet lyrically relatable and unguarded, listeners are offered a glimpse into the mind and artistry of a musician who grapples with his own self- image and fears every day. On ‘Sorceress’ (recently supremely reworked by Photay) the ego is personified as a sinister and controlling spirit figure led by equal parts understated ethereal guitar and Jordan’s superb multi-layered vocals. New single ‘Nerve’, featuring Dave Okumu of The Invisible on guitar, is upbeat and incites a sense of renewal as its lyrics call out the fallacies within self-constructed paradigms. Elsewhere, the ska-tinged ‘Clues Blues’ is laced with trombone and saxophone by Ahmad Dayes and Wayne Francis II from South London pillars United Vibrations.
"It’s about how the ego can fully control the way you act and perceive life,” he says. Jordan’s decision to leave his home in Brisbane for London in 2015 has had a life changing effect on his music, his career and his outlook. Just thinking about a 10,000 mile relocation was traumatic, and these feelings were exacerbated by his introversion and anxiety. However, he plucked up the courage to make the move and never looked back.
“In Australia, I was stuck in a bubble”, Jordan explains. "When I moved to London I had to deal with my introversion through ‘exposure therapy’. Every day I met new people for a whole year. I met every producer, songwriter, and musician I could. You have to improve as a person to improve as an artist”. Building a new community in London, Jordan linked with Tom Misch, Loyle Carner, Richard Spaven and Alfa Mist - musical likeminds experimenting on the fringes of jazz, soul and hip-hop - and also met Bradley Zero, founder of South London record label and party Rhythm Section. Bradley encouraged him to try his hand at a collection of dancefloor-driven tunes which became the EP "Joy, Ease, Lightness", released by the label at the end of 2016 under the alias Dan Kye.
In many ways “Wallflower” is a direct emotional response to his new surroundings and is undoubtedly testament to Jordan’s personal strength, drive and overriding passion for his art as well as a reflection of his openness and eagerness to reach out and explore London’s fertile music underground. It cements not only his importance as a contemporary, and truly exhilarating, soul voice on the international stage, but his stature as a producer, songwriter and multi- instrumentalist in total command of his sonic vision.
Legendary singer Mavis Staples -- the embodiment of everything that’s good in the world right now -- will return to New Zealand in April 2019 in a special one-off concert featuring our own treasure, Tami Neilson, in support.
Following the release of her critically-acclaimed My Design, On Others Lives in April this year, Estère teams up with the poetically tongued NZ/Rwandan MC Raiza Biza, to take on the myth of an infamous figure in cross-continental African folklore, the Tokoloshe.
Fat Freddys Drop have announced Unknown Mortal Orchestra will be joining them for three of their NZ Summer Tour shows, in Auckland at Western Springs, Christchurch's Hagley Park and in Queenstown at John Davies Oval.
Earlier this year, independent singer songwriter Louis Baker released his soul-fuelled, introspective groover ‘Black Crow’. Now he reveals a tech house dance remix by NZ based UK Producer and DJ, Dick Johnson.
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are gracing our shores on the 28th of November at Galatos. After a 4-year hiatus, they have burst back onto the scene and headed straight for the spot they are most familiar with, number 1 on the Billboard Christian Rock Charts.
Breakups are never easy - whether it's a romantic tryst, a teenage crush, or with a young Mark and his favourite band Dream Theater, that dark moment when founding keyboardist Kevin Moore left the group in 1994.
There's no denying that at my core, I'm a lover of progressive music - whether that means I love "prog" music or not is a question for another day, and is a topic which I touched on whilst talking to Steven Wilson the other week regarding the upcoming To The Bone show at Auckland's Bruce Mason Centre.
Auckland-based quartet Openside have added an extra date to their first, all-ages, nationwide tour. The group headlines The Seamless Tour will now perform a final show in Tauranga on July 20th featuring special guests DUNES .
Consisting of drummer/vocalist Cat Leahy and guitarist/vocalist Leisha Jungalwalla, This Way Northwill be a part of a very special night in Auckland called ‘Sass the Patriarchy’ an event they have been running in Australia.
As the days and nights get colder, we need something more to laugh about than the unpredictability of Auckland weather and lucky for us, The New Zealand International Comedy Festivalreturns (kicking off this Thursday 26 April).
I Am Giant’s have recently released their third and final album ‘Life in Captivity’. Featuring the singles ‘Dead Flower’, ‘Playing With Fire’ and ‘Don’t Look Back’, the band are currently touring New Zealand; their final tour and last hurrah in NZ.
To this day I still remember my introduction to Sepultura - camped out in the granny flat bedroom of long-time friend Kerry - a live version of their cover of Motörhead's Orgasmatron, and from there it continues to this day
The 4-piece genre-melders Hellions are getting ready for their biggest Australian headline show yet. The tour will be taking place this May and stopping off in all the major cities; Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
It howls. It's grindingly beautiful. It's dangerously sentient. It’s The Sisters of Mercy returning to Australia and New Zealand this October and November. Due to demand, The Sisters Of Mercy will be adding Perth, Adelaide and Auckland to their tour in 2019.
Who Loves NZ The Most? Following a Sold-Out Winter Tour in 2018, Kiwi icon's The Jordan Luck Band today announce their massive 19 date New Zealand Winter(ish) Tour. Trekking the whole country; the massive NZ tour begins the last weekend of April with shows through to late June 2019.
Psychedelic heavyweight Earthless have announce their supporting acts for their Australia/New Zealand tour. The support line up is heady and heavy, meaning that each show is going to be stuffed with rock n roll greatness.
Due to incredible demand, internationally renowned award-winning musician, comedian, actor, writer and composer TIM MINCHIN has today announced a third and final Auckland show as part of his Australasian tour of his live show BACK.
Legendary, GRAMMY-award winning band FLEETWOOD MAC today announced an Australian and New Zealand tour, set to kick off on August 9 with two shows in Auckland on September 16 and 19, along with a welcome return to Dunedin on September 21.
California’s radical sons, The Growlers arrive in the country this week for the start of the Australian leg of their mammoth worldwide ‘Beach Goth’ tour. In what is guaranteed to be a rollicking, majestic wave of movements all around our golden coast,
Timaru’s iconic Soundshell in Caroline Bay will host two of the most well-known bands in New Zealand in a one-day entertainment extravaganza this January. Katchafire and The Black Seeds will headline the R18+ event at the Soundshell on Saturday, January 26, 2019. They’ll be joined by The Butlers.
In true kiwi summer tour tradition Marlon Williams will now take The Tūrangawaewae Tour to a further six markets this February making it a total of 12 shows - Marlon’s most comprehensive New Zealand tour ever!
On the heels of releasing several collaborative hit tracks this year, five-time Grammy Award-winning artist and producer Mark Ronson returns with a brand new single of his own ‘Nothing Breaks Like A Heart’ featuring Miley Cyrus.
George Ezra toured the world nonstop for more than two years following the release of his debut LP Wanted On Voyage, finally making it to Aotearoa for one of the standout sets of this year’s Auckland City Limits.