Sapphire Matāfai didn’t study music at school, but she hardly needed to. Her father Isaiah began teaching church choir when he was just 10, and with her mum Clera had established a record label, Dúnamis Music, to nurture the musical talents of their seven children – (eldest to youngest) Sapphire, Ezekial, Izayah, Caleb, Gabriel, Zephaniah and Elijah. Not surprisingly the siblings started a group, but it is as a solo artist (with production courtesy of her younger brother) that Sapphire came to the attention of NZ On Air Music who featured her latest single Dilemma on their NewTracks compilation this February.
Talofa Lava, I am Sapphire Te’evā Princess Matāfai. I’m from Auckland, New Zealand – Avondale. I am of Samoan descent & no I don’t play any instruments sadly.
I attended both Avondale College and Auckland Girls Grammar. I had no music training but was raised in a musical family. Both my granddads played instruments, piano & guitar. My mother was in a band growing up and my father plays piano taught by his father who then taught his brother and so on…
I dropped my remix of Nivea My Man back in 2019, produced by my brother Izayah Matāfai aka Kid99. Even before that my siblings & I started a group called Charisma and dropped our very first single as kids, Butterflies, produced by Emmanuel Ensink.
My solo career has always been my main goal & so in 2019 our family independent record label known as Dunamis Music NZ made the decision to go solo & drop my first remake of My Man.
Looking back at old lyrics to now I have improved A LOT, but there’s still so much I need to work on to perfect my craft.
I have a few highlights! Going on tour with the legendary Ardijah has to be at the top of my list. Also, our international tour to Australia, Sydney and Melbourne. My biggest shows here in Auckland would have to be one of the biggest poly concerts (SekiFest) a crowd of thousands, it was an amazing night of pure talent. Nesian Vibes held in Manukau, again another great night.
I’ve been blessed to have two of my recent tracks get constant airplay and my other single Get Down hit the charts.
Of how raw it is. My lyrics have no filter & that’s exactly how I like it.
My own experience of toxic relationships & mental, emotional battles. This project was real personal for me. Dilemma comes from my experience in toxic relationships and I really wanted to use my platform to normalise speaking out about toxic relationships whether it is emotional, physical or mental.
Definitely the features. Jarna and Blasé absolutely killed that.
My brother, KID99. It was actually quite random, I happened to be in the studio when he played me the beat and asked whether I liked it. At that time I was going through some hard-ish stuff and free-styled most of that track from raw emotions and feelings I was going through at that time.
That no matter what you go through, you are not alone.
It has to go through a lot of people before getting the big okay.
My team: Dunamis Music NZ, managed by Isaiah Matāfai and Clera Matāfai. Behind all our visuals is the beast Fata Tuialii.
Don’t give up. Good things don’t come easy.
Thank you so much for this opportunity. I am truly grateful & blessed!
NewTracks is a compilation of new music from New Zealand artists which is distributed to broadcast and online platforms on the first of each month. Previously the Kiwi Hit Disc, New Tracks is one of the ways that New Zealand On Air promotes kiwi music to the industry, radio, streaming services, and media. To apply for New Tracks you must have a completed, airplay-ready song and a promotional plan.