“Music has always played a huge part in my life. From traditional Samoan Pese Ma Viiga (hymns) sung in our overcrowded city dwelling in Kingsland, to a tiny Pentecostal church set up in the garage in Otara.

My mum would always say “Keep God at the center of everything you do” and although through life I often wavered in my walk I never forgot her words.

I dreamt of being an All Black, until a freak accident during a rugby game resulted in a broken neck and a shattered dream. With no hope of being an All Black I needed somewhere to focus my frustration and music was it. I found myself touring the world as a drummer with many amazing musicians but as great as that was, it doesn’t compare to what I do now. “HoodBeats Music” is a programme I created which works with youth in our community, mentoring through music. We are real with the kids about everything – it’s just down to how you deliver that. You need to journey with them. The time you have with them has to have impact, cause you’re up against a whole week of where they’re from.”


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