Reviewed by Felix Mpunga

Teeks: The Grapefruit Skies EP

Reviewed by Felix Mpunga

Teeks: The Grapefruit Skies EP

At the young age of 23, Te Karehana Gardiner-Toi aka Teeks has done what most only dream of doing – he has found a sound that is undeniable and captivating.

Through a Māori mentorship music programme called Pao Pao Pao, Teeks had the opportunity to work with artists like Rob Ruha, Maisey Rika and Seth Haapu. He sings with conviction and no gimmicks but rather a powerful voice that speaks to the soul.

Debuting at number 1 on the NZ Soul/R&B Charts, part of ’The Grapefruit Skies’ was recorded in New York with help of producer Jeremy Most and partner Emily King at the Bunker Studio, while the other half of was recorded at The Lab in Auckland, engineered by Oliver Harmer and co-produced by Seth Haapu and Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper of The Black Quartet.

Intro is an a cappella song, rare and refreshing – it’s reminiscent of Love Is In The Need of Love Today by Stevie Wonder in the way the backing vocals hold the song together. The EP itself is lyrically entrenched in love and loss, If Only and Change being about love whilst tracks such as Never Be Apart are laced in pain.

It’s a somber and bittersweet record, the feeling of wanting back people you’ve lost in life.

Although being written and produced in two different places ‘The Grapefruit Skies EP’ is cohesive, taking you to an era where music was unforgettable, lyrics struck a heartstring or two, and the melodies are laced with hope and nostalgia.

Clean, emotive, resonant and bold. Teeks is one to keep your eyes on.