NESIAN MYSTIK INTERVIEWED (2003): For their people

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NESIAN MYSTIK INTERVIEWED (2003): For their people

For Te Awanui Reeder and the rest of Nesian Mystik, yesterday was downtime and a chance to rest before opening for Duran Duran and Robbie Williams at Western Springs tomorrow.

But there's downtime ... and there's downtime.

For Nesian Mystik - back from London where they did a showcase for media at New Zealand House and public gigs in Soho and Brixton - downtime still means things to be done.

"It's never really a day off. I study as well and we have other businesses we run off our band," says a cheerful Reeder. "Our roles aren't clarified but Donald [McNulty] is in charge of merchandise and our DJ does our website. It's being revamped because we're not really happy with it. 

"We had a strategy meeting and one of the biggest things was keeping it updated. It's where we connect with our fans so it's about improving and keeping it fresh."

After a year of awards, sellout shows, critical acclaim for their huge selling PolySaturated debut album, and having a music room at Grey Lynn Primary School named after them, Nesian Mystik have been on a roll. 

They are making enough to live off, the T-shirts sales from the website keep cashflow coming, and the trip to London has helped to loosen the cap over there.

"It was to build a profile and the public gigs were sold out - to a majority of Kiwis," he laughs. "That's all right, I love seeing our people. It would have been nice to pack a place with Londonites, but that will come.
"I loved Brixton, it was kind of rugged. At the gig there was this West Indian guy who was about 45 or 50 and had grey dreads. He loved our reggae track Unity and remembered the chorus and was singing it to me. It sounded so cool."

In building a profile, Nesian Mystik managed to seed the ground through media interviews but there was also networking with lawyers, management companies and publishers.

"The business side has to be sorted. If you want to make money, it doesn't matter how good you are, you have to be protected by legal people and accountants."

They hooked up with the remix team Next Men, who were keen to work with them, and checked out the Dairy studios where So Solid Crew and Craig David had worked.

Reeder is studying for a Bachelor of Business through AUT so the trip meant trying to find time to read the textbooks.

"My situation is no different from a single mother who is working two jobs and studying, but we had to fly to London before my exam and I had to fly back and only had a day to study for it properly. I tried to study in London but it got really difficult finding effective time. But I did, and I passed."

They accept the band's success has tossed them into the knotty area of role models. " I guess we are, but we try not to look at it that way because we're not that much older than those who are looking up to us. If you always thought of yourself that way I don't think you could sleep at night because you'd be second-guessing every move."

A Nesian doco is being made by Makerita Urale, King Kapisi's sister, which is about "our journey as Maori and Pacific men", and they are starting to write for a second album, aimed for release around October. But after this weekend we may see less of them.

"It will give us time to get out of the public eye and come back with a bit of a storm. The media were really good on the first album. We saturated the market and that benefited us and we won quite a lot of awards. But it's about being wise."

They plan to go back to Australia because their industry showcase was badly timed: "I think it was the night before or the same night Jurassic 5 and the Roots played. That's a concert I'd have left our gig to see. But we are trying to get back over there. I guess we're flying flags for our people so we want to make sure we do everything properly."


You can hear Nesian Mystik's Polysaturated album at Spotify here

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