He mokopuna na Tainui waka
Ko Owhawhe te maunga
Ko Rere-Waitomo ki Waipa te awa
Ko Ngati Maniapoto te iwi
Ko Ngati Uekaha-Ruapuha te hapu
Ko Pohatuiri me Tokikapu nga marae
Tihei mauri ora!
Tiki was born in Otautahi or Christchurch, NZ on 17th December 1976. His father Uekaha is of Ngati Maniapoto descent, and his mother Lyn is of English and Scottish heritage – the McDuff clan. The third child of 4, Tiki was preceded by 2 sisters – Maureen Aroha, Ninakaye and then followed by his baby brother Anaru Kune, from Ngati Kahungunu and Taranaki.
Raised most of his life in Otautahi, Tiki spent his school years at Heathcote Valley School, Shirley Boys’ College and then changed to Linwood High School in his 4th Form year. Soon losing interest in his school education, Tiki began spending time on the streets, getting up to mischief and having many close calls with the law. In the early 90’s, at a crucial time where Tiki was considering some very downward-spiralling pathways, his father Uekaha gave him a classical acoustic guitar. To this day, that guitar can be seen as the vehicle through which Tiki’s life took on a powerful new purpose.
Tiki’s new guitar never left his side as he taught himself to play – listening to and then mimicking riffs and chords from the likes of Metallica, Megadeth and others. It wasn’t long before he was composing his own guitar tracks, lyrics, bass guitar and drum tracks too. Fronting his first band Cultivation at the age of 15, Tiki was joined by drummer Richard Dale, bass guitarist Mike and guitarist/backing vocalist Jason Young (of Future Stupid, Loves Ugly Children and Excellent Soul Therapy fame).
Cultivation played several head-bangingly great gigs in Christchurch and it was during this time that Tiki sat his Certificate in Audio Engineering at Christchurch’s Nga Mataa Waka Training Provider. Becoming soundman for local metal bands and gigs, Tiki was beginning to get a name for himself on the Christchurch music scene. After his first band Cultivation disbanded, Tiki went on to join already existing metal band Braaspadeak, contributing to their growing fan base.
Around this time, Tiki also began rocking the microphone as one of NZ’s first drum n bass MC’s under his pseudonym “MC Rizla”, going on to host and collaborate with international DJ’s and producers such as Digital, Andy C, Grooverider, Zinc, Total Science, Klute, Big Bud, Asides, Bryan Gee, Bailey, Aphrodite, Jade, Chris, Su, Dkay, Optimus Gryme and more. Armed with nothing but a mic, Tiki became “the DJ’s MC” and over the years, the demand for him to toast DJ’s has become huge both nationally and internationally.
In 1996, Tiki was asked to produce the live sound for Christchurch band Salmonella Dub, who were becoming one of the NZ’s most popular acts. Through this role, Tiki began to earn himself a reputation for his ability to bring a staggeringly powerful live sound to whatever equipment, venue or environment he was faced with. His time with his metal band Braaspadeak had become miniscule and irregular, and while on tour with the Dub, Tiki had composed a dub / reggae track in his hotel room. Once he shared it with Salmonella, they recorded it straight away, and Tiki and his whanau and friends set to work making a music video featuring Tiki on tour at The Gathering that year. This track “For the Love Of It” shot to the NZ charts, and so he became faced with not only being soundman for the band, but also the public expectation that he perform his hit song at all their gigs.
In both 1998 and 1999, Tiki won the Best Live Audio Engineer award at the NZ B-Net awards and though in popular demand, it was clear that Tiki’s loyalties lay with his friends Salmonella Dub. Also winning an award for Best Song for “For the Love Of It”, Tiki’s confidence grew in his song-writing abilities and so he went on to create more hits.
By 2000, Tiki was beginning to spend the majority of the Salmonella Dub gigs mixing the first part of the set, then jumping on stage to perform whilst leaving the sound desk with another trusted soundman. It was only a matter of time before it became necessary for him and the band to agree that he leave the desk altogether, transforming into the frontman.
After switching to this role for Salmonella Dub, Tiki spent several years travelling the world releasing platinum-selling albums and chart hits and playing sell-out tours worldwide. In his downtime, he continued to work alongside of some of the country’s top acts as a singer, songwriter, MC, musician, composer, studio producer and live soundman. To this day, Tiki has been employed since 1999 as the longtime and permanent soundman for top NZ act Shapeshifter, accompanying them for all their shows both nationwide and worldwide.
In 2003, while touring heavily with both Salmonella Dub and Shapeshifter, Tiki began vocal duties for local duo Concord Dawn, which led to one of the biggest drum n bass releases of that year, “Don’t Tell Me”. When most artists would be happy with this extremely busy workload, Tiki took an adventurous step and started his company Tikidub Productions Ltd, specializing in the making of music, art, video and merchandise.
Tiki played his final gig with Salmonella Dub on New Years Eve 2006-7 in order to pursue a solo career and develop his company Tikidub as well as set up his label Dirty Dub. In November 2007, with the highly anticipated release of his very personal debut solo album "Past Present Future", his journey rapidly became one of both public and media interest as he shared emotion, stories and opinions with all who indulged in his tunes. The demand for live shows was apparent and so some of his industry colleagues and family stepped in to create his band The Dub Soldiers, occasionally joined live onstage by Waikato Kapahaka Te Pou O Mangataawhiri.
Tiki also continues to this day as a performance MC, at times toasting DJ’s but more often than not performing his own material with his own DJ. Some of the DJ’s he has worked with for his own shows and tours are DJ Dexta, DJ Sambora and Optimus Gryme.Currently residing in Woodhill, Tiki keeps a busy schedule that sees him performing, producing, mixing, remxing, travelling, meeting and greeting his way around the world. With his own unmistakable Tikidub brand of music and merchandise, Tiki’s company is slowly growing its services to assist other NZ acts with their own growth and development through mentoring and various forms of production.
- Best Male Solo Artist - VODAFONE NZ MUSIC AWARDS 11
- Best Electronica Album (In The World Of Light) - VODAFONE NZ MUSIC AWARDS 11
- Best Maori Album (In The World Of Light) - VODAFONE NZ MUSIC AWARDS 11
- Best Maori Song (Starship Lullaby) - WAIATA MAORI MUSIC AWARDS 11
- Best Maori Songwriter - WAIATA MAORI MUSIC AWARDS 11
- Best Male Solo Artist - WAIATA MAORI MUSIC AWARDS 11
- Radio Airplay Maori Artist of the Year - WAIATA MAORI MUSIC AWARDS 09
- Radio Airplay Artist Of The Year - VODAFONE NZ MUSIC AWARDS 09
- Most Popular Ringtone (Always On My Mind) - TELECOM MUSIC AWARDS 09
- Highest-Selling Ringtone (Always On My Mind) - TELECOM MUSIC AWARDS 09
- Best Maori Male Solo Artist - WAIATA MAORI MUSIC AWARDS 08
- Honourable Mention (Tangaroa Music Video) - IMAGINENATIVE MEDIA FESTIVAL 08
- Best Roots Album (Past Present Future) - VODAFONE TUI NZ MUSIC AWARDS 08
- Best Video Artist - JUICE TV AWARDS 08
- Best Solo Video (Always On My Mind) - JUICE TV AWARDS 08
- No. 1 Release for 2007 (Past Present Future LP) - AMPLIFIER AWARDS 07
- Top NZ group (Salmonella Dub) - NZ MUSIC AWARDS
- International Achievement (Salmonella Dub) - NZ MUSIC AWARDS
- Best Engineer - NZ MUSIC AWARDS
- Best Dance Album (Salmonella Dub 03 and 04) - NZ MUSIC AWARDS
- Best Dance Album (Concord Dawn) - NZ MUSIC AWARDS
- Best Live Audio Engineer (98 and 99) - BNET AWARDS
- Best Song (For The Love Of It) - BNET AWARDS
- Best NZ remix (Salmonella Dub) - BNET AWARDS
- Best Live Act (Salmonella Dub) - BNET AWARDS
- Best Album (Salmonella Dub) - BNET AWARDS
- Best Downbeat Album (Salmonella Dub) - BNET AWARDS
- Best Electronica Release (Concord Dawn) - BNET AWARDS
- Best Album (Concord Dawn) - BNET AWARDS
- Best New Act (Shapeshifter) - BNET AWARDS
- Best Electronica Release (Shapeshifter) - BNET AWARDS
- Best Live Act (Shapeshifter) - BNET AWARDS
- Best Album of The Year (Shapeshifter – Soulstice) - BNET AWARDS
Tiki has been blessed to work with some of the best this country has produced. Some of the many acts he has mixed and remixed are;
LIVE - Shapeshifter, Salmonella Dub, Trinity Roots, The Little Bushmen, Kora, Solaa, Scribe and The Crusaders, Ladi 6, Pitchblack, Pumpkinhead, Headless Chickens
STUDIO WORK – Six60, The Adults, Knights of The Dub Table, Paddy Free, Antiform, Shapeshifter, Kora, P-Money, Julia Deans, Salmonella Dub, Shihad, Concord Dawn, Rhombus, Nomad
His vocal proficiency has also graced the musical works of various groups with many tracks ending up in the NZ Music Charts. Some of the artists he has recorded for are Bebe, State Of Mind, Bulletproof, Antiform, Concord Dawn, Rhombus, Salmonella Dub