Troy Kingi comes to Government House for artist residency

Troy Kingi

Troy Kingi performing live, photo by Mark Russell at The Renegade Peach Project.

The multi-award-winning musician and actor Troy Kingi is this year’s recipient of Mātairangi Mahi Toi Māori Artist in Residence.

Troy Kingi, Te Arawa, Ngāpuhi, will be hosted at Government House by Her Excellency The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy from July to October 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. The artist in residence has the opportunity to live as a guest in a cottage at Government House and is an established senior artist or creator in their field.

Described by the New Zealand Music Commission as “our Northland treasure”, the Bay of Islands-based Kingi rose to fame after the release of his first two multi-award-winning albums Guitar Party at Uncles Bach and Shake That Skinny Ass All The Way to Zygertron, along with memorable roles in films such as Hunt For The Wilderpeople,  Boys and Mt Zion.

His third album, Holy Colony Burning Acres – “a deep roots-reggae album with a strong political bent” (RNZ), won this year’s Taite Music Prize, as well as two awards at the 2019 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards – Te Māngai Pāho Best Māori Artist and Best Roots Artist. Recently, his song Mighty Invader was named as a finalist for the APRA Silver Scroll Award.

Ever the prolific artist, Kingi will release his fourth album, The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, a memories-inspired record, on September 11 2020. The album he will create during the residency will be the fifth in his ambitious ‘1O1O1O Series’, where he will release 10 albums in 10 years in 10 genres.

The new album A 75+ Year Trip to Perpetual Sleep (working title) will be written at Government House and recorded at the University’s College of Creative Arts’ state of the art music studio, and will take on the folk genre. Kingi will be joined by award-winning singer-songwriter and music producer Delaney Davidson to produce a record based on compositions set to original poetry exploring ten common life stages.

Kingi will also participate in workshops with the community while in Wellington.

Deputy Kaihautu Toi Maori Rongomaiaia Te Whaiti says it is a great opportunity to welcome talent like Kingi through the residency programme.

“Troy’s contribution to shaping New Zealand sound and music has been hugely significant and influential. And while we know him as an award winning Māori musician, he is also a devoted father and husband…I’ve actually heard rumours that his real talent is diving for kaimoana. These things combined are what makes him such a fine example for our Māori students… particularly our younger men. I’m excited to see all of that unfold.”

Former artists in residence include New Zealand-Samoan fashion designer Lindah Lepou in 2017, musician and composer Horomono 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. 

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Toi Rauwhārangi
College of Creative Arts
Wellington, Aotearoa