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Mai Music Hots Right Note

MAI MUSIC ACTS HIT RIGHT NOTE

Maori record label Mai Music is celebrating a bumper year as its stable of acts continue to court rave reviews and retail success.

- Katchafire's debut single 'Giddyup' is now the top-selling Kiwi single of 2002. Already a certified gold record, the catchy reggae tune is on the brink of selling platinum after 17 weeks in the NZ Top 50 single's chart - at least half of those in the top 10. The song's massive airplay means the Hamilton eight-piece has headed off an impressive selection of the top names in American R'n'B and hip hop to secure the number one spot on Radioscope's Urban Airplay Top 200 Chart. Second single 'Who You With' has just been released and includes a CD-ROM of the band's popular video for 'Giddyup' shot by Greg Riwai. Wellington director Mike Reihana has filmed the video for 'Who You With' which has already moved to high rotate on Auckland music station Mai FM 88.6. The debut album 'Revival' is being completed in Hamilton by top engineer Zed Brookes and producer Chris Macro from The Dubious Brothers. Due for release in February, 'Revival' will feature 12 tracks including the second single 'Who You With' and new tracks 'Reggae Revival' and 'Done Did It' as well as a cover of Bob Marley's classic 'Redemption Song'. Katchafire have just returned from two reggae festivals in Noumea where they performed alongside other overseas acts in front of more than 55,000 people. The band have confirmed gigs up the Coromandel Coast every night after Christmas before playing Rotorua's New Year's Eve Mardi Gras. Upcoming appearances include the Big Day Out (Jan 17); Raglan Reggae Festival (Feb 8); Wellington's Te Ra o te Raukura gig (Feb 9); Coke Southside Festival (Feb 22); and Pasifika (Mar 8). "This has been an enormous year for the boys," says Mai Music general manager Victor Stent.

- Critically acclaimed album 'Trade Secrets' by Hamilton hip hop duo The Dubious Brothers has been re-released with a limited edition, bonus mix disc by DJ Logikal, sponsored by Red Bull. Selected by music mag Rip It Up as one of the top 50 albums of 2002, 'Trade Secrets' will be released in Australia on February 3. Single 'Rage' was one of the most played songs on Kiwi radio in the third quarter of this year and another three singles - 'Trade Secrets', 'The Future' and 'Lonely Skies' also received significant airplay over 2002. The Dubious Brothers will feature in a hip hop exhibition being co-ordinated by Lower Hutt art gallery Dowse to coincide with its Respect Hip Hop festival early next year. Upcoming gigs include the Big Day Out (Jan 17). "The guys are already writing material for their next album, and intend to travel to Australia early next year to support the album release," Victor says.

- Funky R'n'B vocal act D2S are back in the studio this month (Dec) working on their follow-up single to the hit tune 'Ride With Me', which is expected to hit the airwaves in late January. D2S - which stands for 'Destined 2 Shyne' - are South Aucklanders Kebrasca Ratima, Thomas Stowers and Roni Faneva. The trio will perform at high schools in February as part of a LTSA tour including Selwyn College (Feb 12); De La Salle College (Feb 13); Manurewa High School (Feb 14); James Cook High School (Feb 19); and Tangaroa High School (Feb 20).

- Slow jam ballad 'All I Want' by 2002 Rhythm Nation Search for Sound winner Jo Jo Elliott is available from Sounds Music Stores simply by redeeming a Coke-Coca label from a 600ml bottle. The 26-year-old Auckland singer-songwriter from Onehunga beat more than 120 other entrants for the opportunity to record, mix, master and release his song for Mai FM 88.6. The song is also the first commercial release to be recorded completely at the new Mai Studios based at the Grey Lynn, Auckland, headquarters of Mai Media Limited. "Jo Jo's win is profiled on Coke's international website - www.coke.com - which is yet another innovative way of supporting local music."

Victor says they've been working full-time on the label for just 12 months now.

Mai Music is a division of Ngati Whatua-owned Mai Media which also operates Auckland's number one radio station, Mai FM 88.6; music publishing entity Mai Publishing; and the national Maori language radio service Ruia Mai.

"To achieve a platinum top five debut single for Katchafire, a top 10 debut single for D2S and a critically-acclaimed top 20 album for The Dubious Brothers - plus securing overseas releases in 2003 for our acts - is an extraordinary and exciting result.

"It's also a very satisfying outcome for the runanga who have taken the huge risk in setting up this venture as well as a clear validation of our belief in the fabulous young talents that lie within our community.

"Watch this space!"

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