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NewTracks New Artist: Cody Wave

NewTracks New Artist: Cody Wave

It’s about time to give a shout out to Auckland’s Empire Records who seem to have a lot of great new talent coming through right now, including this week’s ‘new’ artist, a stand out from NZ On Airs NewTracks compilation this September. Hawkes Bay’s Cody Imua Te Waa Patea, aka Cody Wave, has recently worked on releases for the likes of TY, Smashproof, PT, Sid Diamond, Rei and Mikey Mayz. With his new single, I Love You, it’s time for him to shine as main artist, performing his own hip hop tunes.

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

My name is Cody Imua Te Waa Patea, I’m from the Hawkes Bay region, on the east coast of the North Island. I play guitar, a bit of the bass, the drums and keys. That’s where my foundation for music production came from. As a kid, I was in the school band, and as the bandleader, I learnt everyone’s parts, so when it comes to transitioning over to producing I had a fair idea on what a song consisted of!

Any high school or other music training that was important to you?

In terms of music, high school wasn’t very important to me. It was my primary and intermediate days where I was really drawn to music, most particularly primary school, as that’s where my first interest for music comes from. I think I was only 6 or 7 when I first learnt to play the guitar, and at my school, at the time it was like kapahaka, it was compulsory. So we all had to learn. And back in those days, we were still getting smacked with a ruler by our teachers so we had no choice, hah!

What other projects might we know you from?

The recent Sid Diamond single Switch On Em was produced by me, I’ve been working a lot with him lately. But most predominantly Ty’s album ‘One Hundred’… I produced a few tracks on there, and PT’s last album. But I mean, I’ve been on a few Mikey Mayz projects, I’ve done a song with him called I Love You as well featuring Lion Rezz. Funny that! LOL.

What’s the background of how Cody Wave came to be as a project?

I’ve been making beats for a long time, and I’ve made beats for a lot of people, even before I signed to Empire, but never in all my years got anywhere, you know? I fully understood why – back then I was ‘just’ a beatmaker/musician, or whatever you want to call it. Just making beats. Which is cool, there’s nothing wrong with that, just as you grow you start to realise certain things, and for me, it was quite obvious, I had to do something else or something more feel me? So I had an idea to start releasing my own songs, I mean if P-Money could do it, and producers overseas can do it, then so can I right? Right… Anyways, just before I signed my deal, I was hanging out with Ty and PT a lot, going to shows, vibing.

Long story short we talked about it, the boys were very supportive of my vision, especially Ty, and asked me if I wanted to sign to his label. I said yes, and went from there. Built my relationship with him and his team, started working on music, eventually released my first single with them and my boys OD, called Royalty, and now we are here! But yeah, Cody Wave was just me wanting to do more with my music other than just making beats.

How has your music evolved from your beginnings in songwriting?

Before I met everyone I know now, my music was really stagnant. It didn’t actually evolve until I started working with actual artists, and I’m still evolving now honestly, learning as I go. I think for the most part it was because of my surroundings. I come from a gang-affiliated background, so when it came to music I’m not sure I had the best inspiration or guidance. For some years my music wasn’t getting better, I’m not even shy to say it, my shit was wack! But being under the tutelage of people at my label, the Smashproof boys and Pieter (PT) I’ve learnt heaps, watching how hard they work and their process was what got me. My first ever session with Pieter, I think I smashed out like nine beats, and out of that, we made like six songs, in the course of 12 hours, which was a first for me, I buzzed myself out.

How did you come up with the name Cody Wave?

Honestly, I just changed my name on Facebook one day as a joke! But when I tried to change it back it didn’t work, so I posted a status on Facebook asking my friends how to change it back and they told me to leave it, because it had a little ring to it, so I did.

What makes I Love You stand out for you as a single?

People rarely write hip hop love songs nowadays, let alone songs that empower us not only to love others but love and be ourselves as well. Especially in our country. Hip hop & RnB has always been my fav anyways and it felt right.

What is the story behind I Love You?

I was very fortunate because bKIDD had already written half the song before I even put my fingers on it, LOL. He had sent me the idea a while ago, and I absolutely fell in love with it! No one knows this, but I must have made like five different versions of the song before I sent it back to him to re-record, he’s only ever heard two versions! Originally the concept was much slower, and not as upbeat. Even the original vocal recordings were different and slower, it’s just the quality of the recordings weren’t there. So it evolved.

What’s your favourite moment, musical or lyrical, of the single?

That’s a tough one. The keys you hear in the intro, we love Rhodes around here, I feel like they compliment his voice very well.

Who did you write/record/produce the single with and where? Got a fun story about the making-of?

The artist I worked with is bKIDD, we actually went back and forth via email to make this, but as I said before, I made like five versions of the song before he heard the final cut. I kind of didn’t want to show him at first because I thought it was trash, hahaha. But he is super duper dope artist. We have a lot of unreleased music together, you never know, we might drop another one.

Describe in one sentence what you want listeners to take away from this song.

The importance of love, not just to your significant other but yourself as well. It is much needed nowadays.

In general, how do you work out what song would make a good single?

Whatever I drop is how I’m feeling at that moment. People work with me because they trust my taste level, but sometimes the advice from the artist or my team, sometimes neither. There have been times where I purely just went of the reaction that the artist gave me when they heard the beat for the first time.

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

I’ve been hitting the studio with Sid Diamond a lot. We actually have a ton of great music to share with everyone, along with that and my own project I’m working on. I’m looking into live streaming from my studio, sharing my creative process with people around the motu. And bringing special guests in for the show to show how they work as well.

Can you please tell us three other local tunes that should be on a playlist alongside your song.

HiiataStrange Love ft. Carlos Carroll

Benjamin FridayGood Nature

Lucid HiestOne Night

Any of your previous applications not get funding or included on NewTracks? Got any advice for people out there?

There have been a few, but you just need to keep trying.

Was there an NZOA criterion you struggled with in the application? 

I wasn’t really sure about trying to visualise and explain videos, I don’t really know about the production side.

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

YouTube. I watch the breakfast club a lot, and Ebro in the morning, but my fav is VladTV on Youtube, he has some dope interviews.

How can we find you on social media?

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter 

Any last words?

Shout outs to my team, these dudes do a lot for me. And the boys Ty, PT and Sid for putting me on. And my bKIDD for the awesome track, really appreciate y’all.