Craft Source x Native B
Native B / Native Bush
Performance artist / Vocalist / Writer / DJ / MUA / Stylist
Ngati Pikiao / Ngāpuhi
Ko Pipiana āhau, ko Hēmi me Rongomai toku whānau.
I go by two monikers depending on which space I’m working in - Native B and Native Bush. Although there are elements of each kept seperate, they are of course intertwined. I usually just refer to myself as an artist, keeping the gate open to move without being confined by definition. 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 performance art, making noises with my mouth, a lot of writing and too many amateur DJ sets.
As an urbanised Māori kid of the 90s/00s, I was 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 my 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 for them and it is now for all of us. So my passion rarely wavers, because the source is strong. Trying not to do that thing where you look cool but do absolutely fucking nothing to contribute.
As a constantly shifting and evolving entity, 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 NATIVE 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!
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, tupuna who light the path and the many versions of myself that continue to surprise me.
I think the way I operate transfers into my work as instinctual guidance. There’s never any clear direction until I’m at least half way through the creative process; it’s organised scatter ha. When allowed to flow, it reveals things still being unraveled by mind. I’m always adjusting my space to feel safe and nurture creativity and that’s all I can really ask for in terms of physical environment. I still struggle with ego a lot… workinonit!
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, 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 couldn’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, a merge creative works. Keep an eye out for some h0ttt 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 run or go away somewhere, 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 moves within me. That often feels like a whole ‘nother level of responsibility. 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 ya ego. Trust the source. Trust the sauce.
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