by Silke Hartung

NewTracks New Artist: Bradamon Band

by Silke Hartung

NewTracks New Artist: Bradamon Band

Well known as a tāmoko artist, former Te Tai Rāwhiti boy Reece Campbell also has considerable talent in music production, along with fronting reggae act Bradamon Band. Following a debut single recorded with Kiwi legends House Of Shem, Gold Coast-based Campbell has teamed up with Youtubing Canadian dub producer DM Kahn for his latest release, Love Town, a collab fiery enough for NZ On Air Music to feature it on their NewTracks compilation in November.

What’s your full name, where are you from and what instruments do you play?

I am Reece Mihaere McMillan-Campbell and I hail from Turanganui-a-kiwa, Gisbourne. As a producer I play most of the instruments, minus the saxophone or anything in the horn section. However, on stage I play the skank guitar!

Was any high school or other music training especially important?

Yes, kapahaka helped with my singing, and I was fortunate enough to be born into a musical family

Any other projects that we might know you from?

I am a tamoko artist based on the Gold Coast, Australia and I have a considerable amount of following on my social media platforms.

What’s the story to Bradamon Band? 

I have been writing and performing since I was 13, I used to record and post my music on social media. However, my career doing moko took precedent until one of my best mates, Dion Taumata, (who is the band manager) heard my song Irie, he then asked to manage me, and we have been working hard ever since. We describe Bradamon Band as a funky 9-piece ensemble with a fresh and unique sound to deep roots reggae.

How did you come up with the name for the project?

The band was named from a previous member and we decided to run with it because ‘Bradamon’ was a term we use to signal our mates.

Aside from this release, what’s been the big highlight to date? 

We have supported some of our childhood fave bands like; Sonz, Katcha and 1814

How has your writing evolved from your beginnings in songwriting to now?

I have always enjoyed writing catchy hooks, however I didn’t have much life experience to feel my music. Now, I am a little bit older and my writing has a bit of substance behind my messages. My wife Karina is also a songwriter in the band and she has always been great with making things make sense.

What makes Love Town stand out for you as a single?

The song talks about how finding love has changed. I believe Love Town has been one of my best songs lyrically.

What is the story behind Love Town?

So the lyrics basically reveal how meeting a lover has changed. Back in my day it was a face to face experience and now days you can find love digitally. The storyline of Love Town is this magical place, where within the town it suits both the old school era and the new school era. The song represents a merging of both generations and it is heard all throughout the track.

Who did you write/record/produce the single with and where?

This song was actually formed from a social media trend where an artist (one of my idols DM Kahn) placed a drum track online and invited people to add or create their own rhythm, lyrics or beats (open verse challenge). I heard his drum track and created the whole song. It was an awesome moment working with him as this song was built from scratch to what it is today, plus he had a major influence in adding his flavour into the track. It felt like a real collaboration, he was hooked as soon as he heard Love Town. I wrote and produced it at my house. DM Kahn lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, so sometimes the different time zones slowed down the process.

What would you like listeners to take away from the track?

If you were to listen as a young person today, you would get an understanding of how love was formed back in the days, and vice versa to those older folk.

How do you generally work out what song would make a good single?

You just never know what one is going to attract some good publicity. We were advised by our industry mentor to release as much music as we can.

Who else is in your team?

We have a core group in the band who have been there from the start. We also play with some session players from Brisbane who are just as important members of the family.

  • Me – Lead singer
  • Dee – Manager
  • Zandra White – Sax and horns
  • Victor Hibbs – Bass
  • Pukeariki Johnson – Lead guitarist

Are there any other musical endeavours you’re working on that we should keep an eye out for?

Yes. We will shortly be releasing a song called Working which features Aotearoa’s own Lion Rezz.

Can you please name some other local tunes that would fit well on a playlist alongside your song. 

  • Sons Of ZionBe My Lady
  • House Of ShemTahuri Mai Ra

Have any previous NZOA applications not gained funding or been included on NewTracks? Got any advice for others?

Reggae isn’t particularly supported as much in Australia, so we have tried hard to tap into NZ funding which support residences away from Aotearoa. We were stoked to hear about NZOA support for new music and we have applied with a successful submission. We are yet to find out if we were successful, however we will keep trying. Our advice is to keep releasing music and seek out available funding where you meet the criteria, it all helps!

Are there any musical blogs, Youtube channels or podcasts you’re super into?

I watch a lot of DM Kahn’s videos on how to mix and master tracks.

How can we find you on social media? 

We use Instagram the most, join our exclusive page – we do giveaways and tour announcements, and post a few fun things on there. @bradamonband

Any last words?

We are Australia’s newest reggae group and we have some big plans to give Aotearoa, USA and Australia some quality music to your ears. Support us on this journey. Much love!

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