By: Natasha Archary
Te Karehana Gardiner-Toi, known by his mononym Teeks joins DJ Keyez on The Ultimate Kaya 959 Top 30. The Māori soul singer from New Zealand has been causing quite a stir since his EP: The Grapefruit Skies was released in 2017.
Teeks pins the support of the Māori community to who he owes the completion of The Grapefruit Skies to. The entire ordeal felt surreal to him, coming from a smalltown, near the ocean and then going to New York to record and meet with highly acclaimed producers.
His deep yet buttery voice has given the singer popularity and fans will be pleased to hear that his debut album “Something To Feel” is out on all music streaming platforms.
Touching base with DJ Keyez, Teeks shared that New Zealand has managed the Covid-19 pandemic with minimal impact on citizens and the country has only just gone back into a level 4 lockdown a week ago. Prior to that New Zealanders have not been in a lockdown for the past year.
“To be honest it’s been pretty chilled here. We’ve only just gone back to a Level 4 lockdown a week ago.”
Māori, are the tangata whenua, the indigenous people, of New Zealand. They came to New Zealand more than 1000 years ago from their Polynesian homeland of Hawaiki. Today, one in seven New Zealanders identify as Māori. Their history, language and traditions are central to New Zealand’s identity.
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The New Zealand soul singer is a songwriter and recording artist who has been singing for a few years now and music and storytelling is a big part of Teeks’ culture.
“As a culture, singing and storytelling is passed down. It’s one way of preserving our knowledge. We’re very expressive people and I guess it comes naturally, so I consider myself blessed to have that as part of my identity,” Teeks shared.
His music is influenced by Adele, Frank Ocean, Bob Marley and many others. He recently collaborated on a version of “One Love” with the Marley family in support of UNICEF’s coronavirus response.
“My dad was a huge Bob Marley fan and I grew up listening to all Bob Marley’s records.”
This reimagined version features members of the Marley family as well as artists from various parts of the world, including conflict zones and refugee camps.
When he’s not churning out hot tracks or touring, Teeks is a huge rugby fan and follows the All Blacks religiously.
Listen to Teeks share more with DJ Keyez on The Ultimate Kaya 959 Top 30 here: