31 Jul 2020

WATCH: Troy Kingi releases new track and announces upcoming album

From RNZ Music, 8:00 am on 31 July 2020

Award-winning Northland musician Troy Kingi has today released new track ‘All Your Ships Have Sailed’, the first single from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Caesar, which is due out on Friday, September 11.

The Ghost of Freddie Cesar is Troy Kingi’s fourth instalment in his 10/10/10 series – 10 albums in 10 years in 10 genres.

The 70s funk album follows on from 2016 blues record Guitar Party At Uncle’s Bach, 2017’s psych-funk journey Shake That Skinny Ass All the Way to Zygertron, and 2019's deep roots album Holy Colony Burning Acres.

Brought to life by Troy and his band The Clutch, The Ghost of Freddie Cesar is his most personal work to date. It’s confounding backstory starts with a cassette tape and the disappearance of Troy’s father.

Troy Kingi and his band The Clutch

Troy Kingi and his band The Clutch Photo: Supplied

“My dad, my real father, around Christmas time 2005, he was driving back from Rotorua to Auckland and completely disappeared, like off the face of this Earth,” Troy told Music 101’s Charlotte Ryan back in May.

Despite search efforts and sporadic reports of sightings, no reliable trace of him has been found.

While going through his missing father’s belongings, Troy found a cassette tape: “It looked pretty old and had this hand-scribbled name, ‘Freddie Cesar’ on it, and on the back was just handwritten names of songs.

“I recognized some of the songs from my early childhood back when my parents were still together and started writing down the lyrics as a form of therapy.”

This was in 2007. Sometime in 2010 Troy found the notebook, but couldn’t find the cassette. “That's when I decided to find out who Freddie Cesar was.”

It turned out there was very little out there about him, so Troy decided to recreate the songs himself.

“It’s kind of a dedication to my dad and Freddie Cesar, this album.  Even though the lyrics aren't fully mine and the music’s not fully mine, I feel him when I’m singing these songs.”

Much of Freddie Cesar’s life remains a mystery, but listening to the lyrics, it becomes evident that he may have been a Vietnam Vet, struggling with the issues of the day associated with that life: PTSD, drugs, alcohol, and his inability to settle back into civilian society

Troy’s interpretation of this time as a funk-filled landscape, paints an imagined picture of the life of Freddie Cesar – the closest to a realistic picture he could get.

The Ghost Of Freddie Cesar by Troy Kingi and The Clutch is out Friday September 11th on all streaming platforms.

Troy Kingi & the Clutch will bring The Ghost of Freddie Cesar to life at the following live shows: 

  • Napier: Thursday, October 22 October | Opera House (as part of the Hawkes Bay Arts Festival)
  • Wellington: Friday, October 23 | San Fan
  • Auckland: Saturday, October 24 | Venue TBA

For ticketing info and updates, visit troykingi.com

Listen to Troy Kingi: Spotify / Apple Music / Bandcamp

Follow Troy Kingi: Website / YouTube / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter