Hip-hop stardust - Regional News | Connecting Wellington
 Issue 211

 Issue 211

Hip-hop stardust by Madelaine Empson

With influences spanning everything from Crowded House to 2pac, Nirvana to Wu-Tang Clang, Big Sima describes his music palette as “all over the show”.

“And that’s how I like it.”

He first got the bug to make music when he was just a kid.

“I was a young brown male born in the 90s, so naturally I was captivated by 90s rap and RnB and then in 96 Che Fu released Chains. I wrote every lyric out line for line and learnt it off by heart.”

Big Sima began to seriously navigate the music industry in 2019.

“Fast forward to four or five months ago when I played support for Che in Blenheim and he passed me the mic midway through performing Chains, safe to say that was one hell of a full circle moment.”

He’ll continue to make music as long as his kids approve.

“The day they say, ‘Dad this ain’t it’ I’ll probably throw in the towel”, he laughs.

And lucky for us, too, that the kids like it. If he had to describe his music, he’d call it “a mix of storytelling with socially charged messages”.

“In terms of production, I’m a self-proclaimed beat digger. I will search high and low to the ends of the Earth for the fire, so when you hear a song from me, just know it’s been through five different beats before arriving at its final form.”

That’s why Big Sima loves creating with the band so much.

“Instead of searching for the sound I want, I can convey my ideas to the boys and watch the magic happen right before my eyes. It’s pretty special.”

Those boys are Boomtown, who first started collaborating with Big Sima in 2021 when they were thrown in the deep end with just a week to prep for a music festival.

“Two tours down, one to go with an EP and two new singles on the way.”

On the upcoming Pluto tour, Big Sima and Boomtown promise to leave a trail of funk-driven, hip-hop stardust in their wake as they traverse six cities across Aotearoa, unveiling their new single betwixt a host of medleys, sneaky covers, and guest appearances at Rogue & Vagabond on the 20th of January. 

Big Sima says their first official collaboration release gives all the instruments in the eight-piece band – who are like whānau – a chance to speak.

“In terms of kaupapa, when I wrote Pluto it was around the time that it had been removed as an official planet in the solar system, so I guess it’s a metaphor for getting things that don’t serve you out of your system. It’s about prioritising your peace over external validation, it’s about being ok with sitting with your own thoughts and being strong enough to overcome mental and emotional adversity, it’s about loving yourself before you can love anyone else.”

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« Issue 211, January 16, 2024