20 May 2016

My Top 5: Rei

8:43 am on 20 May 2016

For NZ Music Month, we're asking local musicians to tell us about the New Zealand songs they love the most. Today, Wellington hip hop artist Rei goes deep on the songs that inspire his own music.

No caption

Photo: Supplied


David Dallas – Runnin’

David Dallas has been a huge inspiration for me ever since I heard The Rose Tint. I like to think I am one of those fans that would’ve loved and listened to his music without the whole signing to a US label thing. This song is my favorite D Dot track, it’s just so powerful. The gospel/bluesey sample, the heavy drums, the confident lyrics, it all just comes together so nicely. The chorus just resonates with me: “gotta get it while I’m living, all I hear is the clock tick tick ticking”. I swear I go to bed every night thinking this, like ‘did I really do enough today to get to my goal to justify going to sleep’. He’s also my top dream New Zealand collab.


Home Brew – Alcoholic

Man, Home Brew was dope. I think Tom Scott is an amazing artist and I have a lot of respect for him. I also respect that he left Home Brew to be what it is, a crucial part of New Zealand culture, and only released new music with his other projects after the release of their debut album. This song in particular is something that we can all relate to, as products of New Zealand’s binge drinking culture. I remember listening to this song driving home from Gisborne after a four-day binge at my first RnV out of high school. It’s the perfect Sunday comedown song.


Ladi6 – Ikarus

Shouts out Ladi6, also very high up there with my list of dream New Zealand collaborations. Her voice has such a soulful, smokey character that makes it so good to just chill to. The production from Parks is also perfect for her. The mix of new-age/electric boom bap with her voice is all so good. Ikarus just gives me the feels every time I listen to it. It’s the kind of song you want to just lie down and hold your girlfriend to (or a pillow if you’re single)...  It’s got such a vulnerability to it that really resonates with me. I liked Ikarus so much that me and my bro made a live acoustic remix to it. It’s still on YouTube somewhere actually if anyone feels like digging.


Stan Walker – Unbroken

I’m about to go deep with this one. When I was 16, I thought I got my girlfriend at the time pregnant. I remember listening to this song a lot then. It was produced and written by Ryan Tedder, the dude from OneRepublic (he also wrote Beyonce’s Halo) and I really respect this dude’s songwriting. The whole production, and vocal performance from Stan all just makes for a huge track really. My girlfriend turned out not to be pregnant by the way…


Fat Freddy’s Drop – Breakthrough

I can’t list my top 5 New Zealand tracks without at least one from the NZ roots/reggae scene. This song right here just makes me feel good. It’s got such a nice build too. If you’re ever in a dark place, I recommend listening to this song a few times to make you feel better. It also sounds like home to me. We have a long, windy, grey winter in Wellington; this song just feels like the first ray of spring sunshine.

Follow Rei on Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud.