Songs from the ideas factory


Ladi6 hits Queenstown this week liberated by an experimental live recording process for her new EP.

TOUR CANCELLED: More info here

Ladi and producer Brent ‘Parks’ Park will play two sound system gigs at Bungalow tonight and tomorrow night, the start of a mini-tour around the regions.

Friday’s the release party for the acclaimed hip-hop/soul act’s new six-song EP Royal Blue 3000.

Ladi: “The whole concept was to take the studio to the stage and invite an audience to come and witness us make songs out of small snippets of ideas.

“It’s a lot more of an experimental way of making music than we’ve ever done before.

“So for Guru [first track released] it was literally made on the spot, it arrived on the stage.

“The boys took the turnaround [circular series of chords]. We had that when we stepped on stage, which gave us a key, and then we just elaborated.”

The full band did two years of the improvisational Alpha Sessions — a studio set-up on stage with Park’s self-built modular synth, drum machines and other kit.

Beffy was the first release from the project and is also on the EP.

Ladi says her lyrics for the likes of Guru were also created on the fly.

“I’d written small ideas of where my head was at and where I felt the band was at, from that came out this lyric that I just kept repeating over and over. Over the span of eight or nine shows it grew from a sentence into this mantra, if you like, of this chorus and from there grew the song.

“We recorded it and then took it into the studio and refined it.”

It’s a fresh way of making music for former Sheelahroc and Verse Two singer Ladi (aka Karoline Tamati), who’s released three studio albums with/as Ladi6.

She’s won various NZ Music Awards including Best Female Solo Artist and Best Urban Hip Hop Album twice.

“We love it, so I think an album will be the next logical step now we have this awesome new process.

“It’s a much more enjoyable ride, much more so than the last record [Automatic] — it was so stressful.”

Ladi says she and Park will present the EP at Bungalow but also dive into the back catalogue.

“There’s only the two of us coming — so much freedom.

“So we can dig into there and also play songs that people don’t ever really get the opportunity to hear, which is great.

“And it’s actually going to be so much fun for us outside of the gigs as well. You don’t have five people so sound check’s a simple plug it in and go.”

Ladi6 & Parks Soundsystem, Bungalow, tonight and tomorrow, 8pm, $28.50 from Bungalow, Bound Bookstore and AAA Ticketing