Saturday, May 10, 2014

NZMM Day 10 – Nesian Mystik

In the early 2000s, it was almost impossible to NOT hear Nesian Mystik, particularly when Coca-Cola used their 2002 hit “For The People” (above) as the music in a commercial. They were one of my favourite NZ bands, so I’m including four of their songs in this post.

Nesian Mysitk was a Pacific-influenced Hiphop band, taking catchy melodies and meshing them with strong, often message-driven lyrics about the Polynesian experience in New Zealand. The band was made up of members from many Polynesian backgrounds (“Nesian” is a nickname for Polynesians), including Cook Islands, Tongan, Samoan and Maori.

Between their debut single, “Nesian Style” (2001) and when they broke up in 2011, they had ten Number One hits—a record. Seven of the songs went Gold, and three went Platinum.

The group’s debut album, Polysaturated (2002), went to Number One and went four times Platinum. It was one of those albums it seemed everyone had and was talking about (including us). 2006’s Freshmen peaked at Number Eight (and went Gold), 2008’s Elevator Musiq reached Number 12 (also Gold) and their final album, 99 A.D. (2010) went to Number 4 and was Platinum. I mention all this to give some idea of how big they were.

There were quite a few really strong tacks on their debut album, but many of those don’t have music videos. One of the other ones I always liked was “Unity” (below), which was released in 2003. It reached Number 7 on the NZ chart and went Gold. It was also the follow-up single to "For The People".

A song from the their second album, Freshmen, that I particularly liked was “If It’s Cool” (below), released in 2006. It reached Number 5 on the NZ chart and went Gold. It featured a sample from "Gonna Shout to the Top", the 1984 Style Council song that was a Top Ten hit in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Next up, a song from Elevator Musiq, “Mr. Mista”. It reached Number 3 and went Gold. The song features Che Fu (the artist from Day 4) and also Kimbra, who was the female vocalist on the international Gotye hit, “Somebody That I Used To Know”.

Finally, appropriately, is Nesian Mystik’s last top ten single, “Sun Goes Down” (below), from their final album, 99A.D. It reached Number 3 and went Platinum. The final two singles from the album didn’t chart.

And that’s a quick overview of one my favourite NZ bands. There are other songs of theirs on YouTube, but I’ve included some that I particularly liked. Sometimes, it IS hard to narrow things down.

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