Spanning Waitangi Park to TSB Bank Arena on Wellington’s waterfront, Homegrown is the single biggest all-New Zealand music event on this country’s packed festival calendar, with 50-plus local acts divvied up across seven genre-specific stages, running the gamut from rock to hip hop; EDM to reggae; indie to metal.
A guaranteed sweet spot at Homegrown 2015 will be the Red Bull Sound Lab where all these sounds collide, a sonic experiment that will see handpicked local heroes like @Peace, Bongmaster and Raiza Biza jamming and collaborating, free of any safety net or script.
It’s here, in an intimate space set up for just 1,500 people that West meets South Auckland hip hop outfit Team Dynamite will form like Voltron with Laughton Kora of Kora and L.A.B fame. Together, they’ve unveiled a worlds-colliding collaboration they’ve been cooking up at Red Bull Studio Auckland.
The trio of Lucky Lance, Tony Tz and Haz’ Beats are key players in Red Bull Sound Select, an artist development programme designed to break emerging artists, offering handpicked local musos studio and stage time, and presenting their music to a whole new audience through curated showcases. To date, Sound Select has boosted the profiles of homegrown heroes Kamandi, and Raiza Biza, and Red Bull Sound Lab represents the latest evolution of this unique musical platform.
“I had the beat and an idea for the hook, but I came in with lots of room for these guys to add their two cents so we’d really get a mash-up of my sound and their sound,” Laughton explains. “We’d only met once before, but once we got here I was straight on the Team Dynamite wagon.”
“When Laughton first played the beat, it was super minimalistic because he wanted us to take charge of the song,” says Lance. “We just treated it like a canvas and chucked ideas up to see what would stick.”
“I started writing on the spot,” Tony Tz adds. “It was cool because I only had 20 minutes to knock out my verse, which is a pretty foreign thing for me. Then I jumped in the booth and recorded it, just like that.”
The fruit of their five-day session is ‘Feet in the Firma’, a box-fresh, breezy cut that sees Kora sing the praises of something or someone who keeps his feet on solid ground.
“It’s about stabilising yourself,” he says. “Everything I try to do, even with Kora stuff, I keep my writing open so people can be part of the song as well – and these guys really brought their A-game to the track.
Freshly minted, ‘Feet in the Firma’ will now get its live debut on the Red Bull Sound Lab stage at Homegrown 2015 on Saturday 7 March. The collaborators are hinting at more material to come too, with three other tracks in the can from their time at Red Bull Studio.
“With the way these guys write, I’ve got ideas to have them over hard rock – like semi-Black Sabbath, Faith No More tunes – or over some beautiful R&B,” says Kora. “There’ll be more to come from me and Team Dynamite, for sure.”
You can listen to the track above, or at redbullsoundselect.com/nz on March 2nd.