Nesian Mystik reunion a major highlight for One Love

updated By Jessica Tyson

One of New Zealand's favourite homegrown Hip Hop crews Nesian Mystik is set to perform together for the first time in almost 10 years this Saturday.

The six-man group of Māori, Cook Island, Tongan and Samoan heritage will perform in front of 20,000 people at the One Love festival in Tauranga.

The group formed in 1999 and produced a record number of Top 10 New Zealand singles. After a successful music career they disbanded in 2011.

Since then, Nesian Mystik has received many offers to perform at gigs. When they got the offer to perform at One Love 2020, they didn't want to turn it down, says vocalist Te Awanui Reeder, also known as Awa.

“I think the timing was right and everyone was ready to have a go again."

Awa says the festival suits them because they love performing for Nesian fans from Te Moananui-ā-Kiwa.

“There’s nothing better than seeing a crowd of brown faces looking back at you and singing the kupu, singing the songs, dancing and all of these things that are uniquely Māori and Pacific…That’s why we love it," Awa says.

“Even more so for me because it’s in Tauranga Moana which is my papa kainga. My dad lives in Tauranga and all my cousins are there, and my aunties and uncles and marae.”

Other members of Nesian Mystik include Junior Rikiau (Junz), Feleti Strickson-Pua (Sabre) and Donald McNulty (Oldwun), guitarists David Atai (Dmon) and turntablist Heath Manukau (Notiq). They haven’t caught up all together in years since living in different parts of Aotearoa.

But this week they reunited for a rehearsal.

“We sounded good and it felt really good and yeah it was just nice to see the boys again so we’re really excited,” Awa says.

The last time Nesian Mystik released music was in 2010 with their album 99 A.D. This week the band released their song Paradise online for the first time in the lead up to One Love. The waiata includes lyrics in te reo Māori, Samoan and Tongan.

“It's a major part of our set and we've got so many hits that we actually had to cut some off while we were rehearsing because we were going to be too long," Awa says.

“I think everyone's going to like the set. There's something in it for everyone no matter which part of the journey you came on with us, whether you were there for Polysaturated, right there to the end where you just love Sun Goes Down.”

Nesian Mystik are scheduled to perform at 5.30 pm on Saturday.