Samoan/Kiwi rapper Savage goes gold in America and takes honors in Aotearoa.
Savage’s hit single Swing passed the half-million mark in digital/mobile sales in the US this week, landing at #40 on the Billboard 100 and #7 on the iTunes hip hop chart, with more than 3 million views on his MySpace site.
Savage, aka Demetrius Savelio, shared the Tui award for International Achievement at the New Zealand Music Awards with another kiwi top-selling act, folk-jokesters Flight of the Conchords.
Swing topped the NZ charts in 2005 and went global last year after being featured in the blockbuster comedy Knocked Up, leading to a deal with Universal Republic records. Savage is repped by Dawn Raid Entertainment, the South Auckland hip hop powerhouse.
Swing is the first single from his new album Savage Island, due out in December, featuring guest artists and producers Akon, Soulja Boy, Rock City, Sean Paul and Boo Yaa Tribe.
The video is directed by Flyy Kai Crawford, who also directed Savage’s first hit Moonshine.
Kiwi star export drops in and wins
Savage hits gold in US with “Swing” remix
Nesian Mystik breaks it down
Nesian Mystik’s new single breaks down urban Aotearoa Polynesian culture for its growing global audience.
Rapper Sabre, aka Feleti Strickson-Pua, tells Spasifik Magazine that when traveling overseas they found fans didn’t know much about the band’s culture, “so it’s going back to the basics of who we are.”
Lyrics celebrate their Auckland roots in Samoan, Tongan, Aitutaki (Cook Islands) and Maori cultures, where you can “spot the Polys from a mile away” in their white-on-white sneeks, aloha shirts, socks with jandals and “that greenstone around your neck”.
Luke Sharp is the video director. “We asked him for a video that was alive, bright and vibrant … that people watching and listening could relate to,” says Sabre. “For example, palagis might not understand some of our lyrics talking about island food,” in their paean to fried corned beef, two minute noodles, one-dollar chips and a free cuppa tea.
Nesian 101 is the first single from their forthcoming album Elevator Musiq due out soon.
Tuis to Scribe & Te Vaka
Pan-Pacific musicians Te Vaka and Samoan-kiwi rapper Scribe dominate Aotearoa’s 2008 Pacific Music Awards.
Scribe takes the Tui for Best Song and Best Male Artist with Say it Again from his new album Rhymebook.
11-piece Te Vaka won Best Group and Best Album for Olatia.
“Pacific music has been a trailblazer for race relations, social responsibility and expressing human joy in Aotearoa and the Pacific region,” says Pacific Music Awards Chair Rev. Mua Strickson-Pua.
Scribe: Say it Again
Scribe’s Say it Again music video showcases his cousin, R&B diva Tyra Hammond, in a retro tribute to kiwi 60s pop. The open features New Zealand TV icon Peter Sinclair from the classic music show C’mon.
Say it Again is produced by Auckland’s Zoomslide and directed by prolific kiwi music video maker Adam Jones.
Mud: Should’ve Known
The video was made by a Pacific Islander team – director Alex Munoz (Chamorro) and producer Karin Williams (Aotearoa/Cook Is) – with a mostly Guahan/Pinoy posse including editor AJ Calomay (editor: Black Eyed Peas, Native Guns).
Mud is Nikki Aclaro (vocals, guitar), Alan Kao (guitar), Ralph Blas (bass), Jared Cruz (drums) and Aris Nicholas (keyboard).
The Guam band, now San Francisco residents, signed with Talking House Productions.
Their new album Yearbook launches April 15.