The genesis of a songstress


As a kid Ladi6 dreamed of being an air hostess or a lawyer – she didn’t reckon on a musical career.

When she was a youngster her home was filled with music, including The Supremes, Natalie Cole and Aretha Franklin.

While these soul legends gave her a taster of what she liked, it was her sisters, her mates, and her family who were the biggest influence when it came to music.

Nowadays her biggest influence is fiance and fellow bandmate Brent ‘Parks’ Park, who she describes as “hot, loving, musically gifted and obsessed”.

Born Karoline Tamati, she has performed as Ladi6 throughout her career, creating her first band Sheelahroc when she was just 16.

What’s with the name? It was a nickname from her childhood that stuck.

She doesn’t know how to describe her music but says the melody always comes first.

“The emotion that I draw from that sound often leads me to my lyrics. I find inspiration in every nook and cranny that I discover – in the obvious and the ugly.”

The Christchurch native will perform at the opening ceremony of Winter Games tomorrow night and says it’s always a pleasure to perform to a South Island crowd.

As an artist performing is her passion. It gives her flexibility and allows her to meet interesting and varied people.

She’s not all glamour and charm. She says recording music can leave her feeling a bit like the movie Groundhog Day – the repetitive nature of getting something just right.

Adding to the pressure is her insecurity. “I have hidden behind a bravado and hip-hop persona for most of my musical life. That was encouraged and cultivated during my first years learning about hip-hop. Without this finely tuned skill and a few other key things, I believe I would never have continued in music after Sheelahroc.”

She is brewing something special for the Winter Games gig. “Expect to be pleasantly surprised,” she quips.

She will be joined by fellow bandmates, Parks on beats and vocals, Julien Dyne on drums and Brandon Haru on keys.

Ladi6 sings the national anthem during the Winter Games opening ceremony at Coronet Peak tomorrow night. She will then perform in the Games Village marquee. The event’s sold out