Currently three albums into his promised release schedule of 10 albums in 10 years in 10 genres, multi-award-winning musician and actor Troy Kingi has been named as this year’s recipient of Mātairangi Mahi Toi Māori Artist in Residence.
The artist in residence has the opportunity to live as a guest in a cottage at Government House in Wellington, meaning that Bay of Islands-based Kingi (Te Arawa, Ngāpuhi), will be hosted at by Her Excellency The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, from July to October. He will use the time to write and record a new album.
The Matairangi Mahi Toi residency is a partnership between Massey University and the office of the Governor-General that was established in 2016 to encourage and promote the development of Māori and Pasifika visual arts and creative practices.
Featured on the cover of NZM’s enduring Dec/Jan 2020 issue, Kingi struck gold with his strikingly political third album, ‘Holy Colony Burning Acres’, claiming two Tui at the 2019 NZ Music Awards (Te Māngai Pāho Best Māori Artist and Best Roots Artist). He followed that feat up by winning this year’s Taite Music Prize for the powerful roots-reggae album, and there’s a real possibility of an awards trifecta with his song Mighty Invader named as one of the top 20 finalists for the APRA Silver Scroll Award to be announced in October.
His memories-inspired fourth album, ‘The Ghost of Freddie Cesar’, will be released in September, while the next one, working titled ‘A 75+ Year Trip to Perpetual Sleep’, is being written at Government House. He will be joined by singer-songwriter and music producer Delaney Davidson to produce and record an album based on compositions set to original poetry, exploring 10 common life stages. Kingi will also participate in workshops with the community while in Wellington.
Former artists in residence include NZ-Samoan fashion designer Lindah Lepou in 2017, musician and composer Horomona Horo in 2018, and The Pacific Mamas in 2019. The programme aims to build and strengthen the relationship between tangata whenua and Toi Rauwhārangi College of Creative Arts, develop strategic plans for creative research excellence and academic leadership for Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand, and generate cultural pathways for and between the University and Toi Rauwhārangi.