Hone Hurunui-Pirini is off to a promising start in his career, with over one million streams on his first song Don’t You Remember and a supportive following on social media. The Ōtautahi singer’s latest single, All I Need, is a laid-back piece of RnB which showcases his smooth and silky vocals. Nur Lajunen-Tal speaks with him. Made with support from NZ On Air Music.
Growing up in a musical family, the now 19-year-old Hone Hurunui-Pirini already has plenty of experience.
“I’ve been singing since I came out of the womb, since I was little,” he says. “My brother plays the guitar, my dad plays the bass, and my mum loved Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston! Big RnB, soul, reggae, all music basically, but those were the main ones in our household. We used to sit around at home and just have a jam. I’ve been singing with my brother since I was little, like little covers. I think I was just born into a family of music, singing, and playing instruments. I didn’t get the instrument genes.”
Hone began to think about pursuing a serious music career after receiving positive feedback on social media. “It all started with posting on Instagram and TikTok, just singing videos, and then I noticed I was getting a lot of traction and a lot of love. People were like, ‘Oh, you’ve got a mean voice!’ So I thought: ‘Why don’t I try to make my own music?’”
That encouragement led to the release of Don’t You Remember, his first single, at the age of 16. The song was produced by Marley Sola using funding from The Healing Song – Pese Wairua, a charitable trust which helps young Māori and Pasifika musicians. It amassed over one million streams on Spotify. Since then, Hone has released three more singles; Over Us, Overthink and his latest, All I Need.
All I Need, was produced by EdyOnTheBeat Edward Liu and written by Hone, Jeremiah Fale (Hales) and Sam Verlinden (Sam V). Hone happily describes the writing process in depth.
“Edy didn’t even have a beat for us yet so it was pretty on the spot. We were just sitting all in the room, vibing out, having a chat, and then the bro gets the guitar out, starts playing the guitar, and then he’s like, ‘Ooh, yeah!’ We all start vibing out. Starts putting the bass in, just putting everything on top of it, and then after 40 minutes, we had the whole beat done, and that was just straight from scratch! In one night, we made the verse, hook, all the lyrics, and then, the second night, we just did the BVs.
“We were feeling like something catchy and loving, and I was like, ‘Actually, I wanna talk about a girl, and that girl, I wanna make her feel like she’s the only girl I need right now, and the only girl I’ll ever need for the rest of my life.’ Not to make it that romantic, but that vibe. We just all put our ideas together. And some of the ideas we came up with, we were cracking up about. And then we actually ended up using some of those lyrics in the song!”
“I was feeling it so I put it on my story, let everyone know. ‘What do you all think?’ And everyone was like, ‘Yo, bro, you’ve gotta drop that.’ So I was like, ‘Okay, everyone’s loving it, so I’d better put some promo work into it. Get some stuff behind it!”
The planned music video will be produced by Maui Studios, and directed by the artist himself and Mads Henry Ryan. Hone doesn’t give much away about the storyline as he wants to surprise his audience. However, he does say that the video aims to support the romantic message of the lyrics.
“It’s basically me just showing my love for this one girl, and doing things that aren’t even that big, but as long as I’m with her.”
Hone clearly already has some achievements under his belt, having recently opened for Sammy J and performed at Nesian festival.
“I just want to keep growing, help Māori and Pasifika musicians get out there, and hopefully get on the big stage. I wanna try to get on those Promiseland, Eden Festival, One Love… that’s my next plan. Loving music at the moment. Just wanna keep creating!”