Craft Source x Native B
Native B / Native Bush
Artist / Vocalist / Writer / DJ / MUA / Stylist
Ko Pipiana toku ingoa, ko Heemi me Haimona toku whanau.
I go by two monikers depending on which space I’m working in - Native B and Native Bush. Although there are elements of each that I keep seperate, they are of course intertwined and I prefer to refer to myself as an artist, keeping the toe gate open to move between creative realms. Over the past 2 years, I’ve been exploring the depths of my sonic and visual output. This means quietly experimenting with different facets of visual art, performing live as a vocalist, a lot of writing and many amateur DJ sets.
As an urbanised Maori kid of the 90s/00s overwhelmed by the superficiality of pop culture, the chicane of colonialism and the lure of a selfish existence, it’s been a tempestuous voyage to say the least. Separating what is and what isn’t authentic is a constant part of the process, questioning where I’m operating from as an artist and whether the work is serving something higher than my own ego. This makes for pretty high expectations of and from myself, but I try to trust the process that’s gotten me here and I’ll continue to do so.
I’m passionate about what I do because a lot of people fought hard for me to have the privilege. Expression helps you tap into that truth, that trust and the freedom that lies beyond. It was a matter of survival and it still is. So the source for my passion never wavers, otherwise I’d become the rock on the top of the mountain; looking cool but doing nothing.
Like all matter, I’m constantly shifting and evolving. So trying to keep up with that, let alone define it, is difficult and especially confusing to anyone having to listen to me explain it (I’m a gemini). If I had to, I’d lightly throw words around like SPARKLE SPACE PUNK and COSMIC SLOP. ‘My style’ sometimes feels like a pie pyramid of rambling dust ready to topple over into the abyss with just the right angle of kick. That’s an honest reflection of the vessel trying to translate it; it’s all seeing, but has no clue what’s going on really!
Ideas come from everywhere and everywhere. All reflections go through a process of being churned into data and stirred into the cauldron of creative energy, waiting to be downloaded. I rely on moments of clarity that allow me to conjure creations out of what seems like thin air, but is actually settling dust. And even though I can be ‘influenced’ by something like a decomposing leaf, most of it is shaped by muses that mirror both the chaos and the peace, my ancestors who light the path and the many versions of myself that continue to surprise me.
I think the way I’m operating transfers into my creative work as instinctual guidance. There’s never any clear direction until I’m at least half way through the creative process. It’s like organised scatter! When I allow it to flow, it reveals codes still being unraveled by my three-dimensional human brain. I'm hoping I can do them justice, but because of this inconsistent and unreliable process I require a lot of solitude and indulgence to work through my humanness. I’m always adjusting my studio to feel safe and nurture creativity and that’s all I can really ask for in terms of physical environment. But if something is off internally, I can struggle to channel in order to create substance. I’m learning to compromise.
My voice is my most important tool. It’s yours too! When I use it I’m not only speaking from my own experiences, but from those who’ve walked before me and ask me to speak on their behalf now. I’m sensitive in most aspects, but especially to light and dark, so warm light is necessary... enough to balance out the shadow.
This year has been quantum leaps and quantum connections. I’m collaborating with amazing creatives at the moment, preparing to delve into other mediums such as movement, storytelling and film. It’s been 2 years since I began the journey with Lowtide. and I’m still working on an EP (as Native B). Now it’s a whole new body of work to when it first began. You wouldn’t put them side by side, but the entire process has been essential. We’ve got a couple exhibitions coming up in August that will showcase some of the collaborations, and allow me to merge my creative works. Keep an eye out for some hoTTT dance mixes to be uploaded over the next couple months (as Native Bush) and me attempting to host the fortnightly Lowtide. Radio show on Base FM.
There’s always temptation to fly away from the nest again. But the creative energy in Aotearoa at the moment is electric, and I’m excited and humbled to be part of such a community. Everything we’re doing is helping to build foundations for our generation and the next, just as generations before us did. We are so fucking privileged to walk on this ancient whenua. It’s soil runs through my veins and is my bone. That often feel like a whole nother level of responsibility. So when I feel a calling to go elsewhere, it’ll only ever be temporary and necessary.
'Unuhia ki te uru tapu nui' - draw on the supreme sacredness.
And fuck ego. Trust the source. Trust the sauce.
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