Dallas Tamaira from Fat Freddy’s Drop releases first solo single in two decades

By Jessica Tyson
Photo / Harry - Inject Design

Musician Dallas Tamaira, also known as Joe Dukie and the vocalist for the band Fat Freddy’s Drop, has released his first solo waiata in two decades.

No Flowers is written about the powerful women in his life, the way they hold it down with grace, and make people welcome at their table.

Tamaira says the lyrics were sparked by an Ans Westra photograph of a mother, her hands dusted with flour, holding her child.

“It all came from that photo. In many ways, there’s a little bit of her in all of New Zealand women. My mum can relate to holding a kid and making bread with floury hands,” Tamaira says.

No Flowers is a peaceful slow song. The soulful rhythm and acoustic guitar reflects the aroha that Tamaira has for the late Bill Withers, a musician who has deeply influenced his music.

In March Tamaira spend two weeks in self-isolation after arriving back to New Zealand from Berlin. He was in Europe alongside other members of Fat Freddy’s Drop for an album release tour, which came to an abrupt halt.

Slower pace, slow music

Tamaira used that time to turn a potentially negative experience of lockdown into a positive and productive time.

He says that shifting to a peaceful and slower pace of life and making slow music has made sense. He’s proud of leading the creative process and release for No Flowers, a contrast to working in a band of seven.

Tamaira also worked with his friend, musician and producer Devin Abrams, to produce the waiata. Abrams makes music for Pacific Heights and is the producer for the Drax Project.

Abrams says, “Dallas and I have shared a close friendship/brotherhood alongside the odd creative collaboration for many, many years. It is now though, that we have begun to work together closely on fully articulating his own creative stories through this project."

With an endless number of hits, accolades and successes over the past two decades, Abrams is undoubtedly one of New Zealand’s most versatile and accomplished musicians and producers.

“I have always treasured his approach to his art and how committed he is to each and every word he sings and it is an honour to be able to help Dallas bring to life these stories in the fruition of fully formed songs. Excited about sharing these songs with the world is an understatement and a half.”

No Flowers is the first solo song release from Tamaira, with more on the horizon.