South Auckland barbershop opens up music opportunities to local talent

updated By Jessica Tyson, Tepara Koti

A South Auckland barbershop is finding a way to help rangatahi in the community by opening its doors to encourage them to pursue their music goals. This weekend they hosted their very first barbershop cypher to draw in local talent.

The owner of Ōtāhuhu-based Twosevenfive, 'Fitz', says the purpose is to provide the opportunity to rangatahi who want to make music and other people of any generation who don’t access to a studio.

“[Rangatahi] just need people to talk to, which is why we have these vehicles, so they can come and get a haircut, speak to our barbers, let off some steam. Also, coming through with their music so they can let off what they've got going through their mind through their music.”

'Fitz' in the studio that has been open for about a month - Photo / File

Today the shop hosted their first-ever barbershop cypher with artists from all over Auckland taking up the opportunity to get their creative juices flowing.

Fitz says, “It's 12 MCs from different regions of Auckland coming together to put their work out into the public eye and just connecting with each other.”

Local artists doing sound check for first 'barbershop cypher' - Photo / Matua Ace

Local rapper Aaron Clay (Ngāpuhi, Te Whakatōhea) says, "Hopefully this is the start of something. I've been making music for about 10 years and up to this point, I've never really put myself out there. This is me trying to do that."

Angus Grace (Te Whakatōhea) explains, "(I've) been into music since I was a kid so it all started from listening to the whānau playing the acoustic parties all day, every night. (That) inspired me to get up amongst what the whānau was up to. "

Music is also a way for them to embrace their Māori culture.

Grace adds, "I was real intrigued by the music and the culture of what we can deliver with a message for our own people. It's not about being someone else from another country, but it's about how can we relate to that in our own lives."

Clay agrees to say, "I just wanna [sic] be a voice for the people. The type of music I make is life music.  I'm not trying to conform to no trends or anything.  I just come here to be me and be myself."

The call is for more Māori to get into this genre of music.

Tawhai Davidson  (Taupō) says, "In all honesty, we need to see more of us up there because I see there's not many up there in the Māori up there in the hip hop scene and that's one thing I wanna see."

Most important for today is seeing the creativity of each individual shine.