18 Jul 2020

Rising stars of Mātariki: Troy Kingi on Neko - “She’s going to blow up”

From RNZ Music, 1:10 pm on 18 July 2020

To celebrate Mātariki we asked some of Aotearoa’s top musicians to shine a light on the next generation of Māori talent. Award-winning Northland musician Troy Kingi has chosen up-and-coming vocalist Neko Newman.

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A post shared by neko (@nganek0) on

Neko Newman is a Fijian Māori musician wih a breathtakingly good voice.

“I was just blown away by her voice,” Troy Kingi says, “It’s a voice I’ve never heard in this country before.”

Neko shows off her talents on her growing Instagram account, but hasn’t released any music of her own yet.

She’s collaborated with Aukland hop hop duo Church & AP on their track ‘War Outside’, which has just been included in the top 20 for this year’s Silver Scroll songwriting award.

She’s also set to feature on Troy Kingi’s upcoming album The Ghost of Freddie Cesar.

He knew he wanted her on the album, and says, “[The track she’s on] feels like one of the best songs I’ve ever been a part of to be honest. She just killed it.”

“She’s something special, she’s going to blow up.”

Troy discovered Neko through a chance encounter at his in-laws' house. Neko’s grandfather – a cousin of Troy’s father-in-law – asked if his granddaughter could come to Troy for advice on getting into the music industry.

“I was like, ‘Yeah, yeah sure,’” Troy says, “I was thinking y’know, what’s this gunna be like...” Until he actually looked into some of her music on Soundcloud.

“I think she’s only just turned 18, so she’s super young, but just her style, fashion sense and her voice are super unique.”

Related:
  • Taite Prize-winning musician Troy Kingi on his new album
  • Troy Kingi & The Upperclass win 2020 Taite Music Prize
  • NZ Live: Troy Kingi