22 May 2023

NZ Hip Hop Stand Up | Season 3 | Episode 6: Ladi6 'Like Water'

From NZ Hip Hop Stand Up, 6:00 am on 22 May 2023

Hip-hop artist Ladi6 drew on her relationship with husband and writing partner Brent Park in the effortlessly crafted 2011 single 'Like Water'.

With this platinum-selling single, Ladi6 (aka Karoline Fuarose Park-Tamati) made waves in the New Zealand music scene and set herself up for a lasting and successful career.

Growing up in a family of performers, Ladi6 found her creative home in hip hop. Her biggest musical influence is a close, long-time collaboration with Park and some predicted the birth of the couple's son Philli in 2004 would stall her career.

'Like Water' stands as proof that the artist's relationship with her family is one of her biggest sources of inspiration.

The song, written when her family had taken a creative retreat to Berlin, was inspired by Bruce Lee's famous quote about the power of adaptability - "Be like water".

For Ladi6, the phrase "like water" serves as a metaphor for the challenges and love she shares with Park, both in their music and personal lives.

Her manager at the time, Rebecca Caughey, recalls Ladi6 telling her "We've written a hit". Her instincts were correct, and 'Like Water' was a massive success, cracking the top 10 and reaching platinum sales.

Ladi6's musical achievements have earned her recognition not only from fans but also from industry peers.

DJ Sir-vere described her as "the best singer in Aotearoa", while King Kapisi admires her versatility and ability to experiment with different musical styles, unlike most rappers who stick to one style throughout their career.

Ladi6's 'Like Water' opened doors for Polynesian women within New Zealand hip-hop, and her contributions to music were recognised in the 2021 Queen's Birthday Honours when she was appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

About the artists

Ladi 6

Karoline Fuarose Park-Tamati, better known as Ladi6, is a New Zealand singer, songwriter and rapper who is known for her soulful and distinctive voice. Born and raised in Christchurch, her first foray into music was with the group Sheelahroc. Over the course of her career, she has released several critically acclaimed albums spanning multiple genres and was recognised in the 2021 Queen's Birthday Honours, where she was appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.


Brent Park, also known as Parks, is a multi-talented musician, producer, and songwriter. As the long-time writing partner and husband of Ladi6, he has been a crucial part of her two-decade-long successful career.

 Made with the support of NZ On Air Photo: NZ On Air