Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Team Dynamite return to the fold with new single, ‘Who?’

Having enjoyed a short hiatus from their collective banner, Team Dynamite made their return to the NZ Music scene with their latest single ‘Who?’ Teaming up with prolific Niuean lyricist Diggy Dupé, this combative yet insightful single leaves you in anticipation for the rest of their upcoming LP, #RespectTheProcess. We spoke to HazBeats and Tony TZ about the music video and what has kept them busy during their break.

It’s been a couple of years since your last team release. What’s been occupying your time since then?
HazBeats: A bit of everything. Life, moving houses, other musical releases and commitments for me personally. The music was still being created during the whole time though.
Tony TZ: Personal development, Youth Development (Youthline), self care, became a dad, continued being a step dad, being a good reliable partner, recently started journaling.

How do you think the break from Team Dynamite has helped your craft?
H: The work never really stopped for me. Myself & Lance still made music whenever we got together. I released an EP with NZ singer Miloux, produced a few songs for Tom Scott’s (Avantdale Bowling Club) latest album, half the production on ‘Latinaotearoa’ album + a few other beats here & there for anyone who wanted production from me.

T: The realization of becoming a dad sent the instant message to myself of wanting to be the best version of myself hence the personal development, self care and moving into full time employment. Once everything aligned then came clarity, then came the big conversation with Lucky and Haz to see if we were still on the same page and did we have the same desire to continue the journey, the answer was yes we were. Then came a great supporting team. With all of this comes a new energy that means we’re moving differently. Which to me is the most exciting part of this record. That is where the craft has been helped the most. Clarity.

There’s a lot of misinterpretation and ambiguity around the sub-genres of hip-hop and rap. How would each of you describe the Team Dynamite sound?
H: Soulful & boom bap w/ a message.

T: Feel good turn it up sound. And if you listen close there are gems that could inspire, motivate or leave you with self reflecting questions.

What inspired the production on this track?
H: The original beat was sampled from a movie score/soundtrack. It wasn’t til I got my bro Frank Keys to fill in the gaps that inspired me to run with some dark keys to suit where everything sat in the mix that gave it a black & white tone to the song.

T: Feel good turn it up sound. And if you listen close there are gems that could inspire, motivate or leaving you with self reflecting questions.

The song was approved in the December 2019 round for NZ On Air and released in May 2020. What has the journey been like for this particular track between then and now, especially amid the lockdown?
H: It was like holding your breath for so long and we were finally allowed to exhale after we got the funding for the video.

T: Personally for me the journey has been heavily focused on being a dad and supporting mama to my best ability. So once the song was completed I was happy with what the team needed from me and I’m quite comfortable with both Lucky and Haz putting the final touches to the song.

The single itself is lyrically combative and confrontational. Who is it that you are referring to in the track?
T: ‘Who?’ to me was a 16 bar affirmation to anyone and myself that might find it relatable. Self-doubt is a dick and can get the best of you most days. This is very necessary for me more so now than ever being a dad, a partner, in full time employment and being 1/3 of Team Dynamite.



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Talk us through the process of getting Diggy Dupé to join you on the track.
H: The song was finished (demo stage) but it wasn’t till I asked the boys who they wanted as features on the album. I had produced a few songs on Diggy’s first EP (K.O.T.I.C) & Tony really liked his stuff & wanted him on a song, let alone ‘Who?’. He was down to be on the track with us, no questions asked.

The music video looked like it was a lot of fun to shoot. How do you approach the task of representing your music and its message in a visual way?
T: By a lot of trusting in the artist that you are working with in this case Askew, you knew you were going to get something great right? So with that and a lot of respecting and trusting in the processes.

Covid-19 has left an air of uncertainty in the gig industry right now, but the capacity to make music is still there. What would you like to see or at least hope to see in the near future regarding the challenges that artists face?
H: The live music scene back. It’s where most of us make our money from.

T: More opportunity for up and coming artists to play venues that have dope sound that they could pack out. Somewhere like Khuja Lounge’ or Rakinos. More festivals like Homegrown. More f*****g radio play on Mainstream. New Zealand goes hard when it comes to music in whatever genre, so more support equals more spins, more royalties, more money for artists to eat (extra loaf of bread or formula)

You’ve teased the #RespectTheProcess LP multiple times across your social media platforms. What can audiences expect from the next big Team Dynamite outing?
H: Grown man raps lol. Just a maturer sound sonically & lyrically. The beats still bang but the raps are more advanced now.
T: Good energy that will leave you satisfied regardless what mood or state you might be in.

Who?’ is available to stream across all major music platforms



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By Nayte Mataia-Davidson



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