Still searching for something a bit different
Mika Haka is always on the look-out for the next big star.
And if they are a bit different that’s okay, he says.
‘‘We need a bit more crazy stuff, for heaven’s sake.’’
The extravagant entertainer has made a name for himself over the last three decades as a pop singer, cabaret performer, television host, actor and a permanent fixture of Auckland’s nightlife.
His first single was released in the 1990s and he has had stints as a host on TVNZ’s Good Morning and Maori Television.
Now he wants to pass on his knowledge to the next generation.
‘‘I think naughty is a good thing for young people,’’ he says. ‘‘There’s ‘ naughty’ and then there’s ‘horrible, yuck’. We don’t do that here. We’re talking about be naughty, dress up, sing crazy songs.
‘‘Maybe talk about things your parents might go ‘ooh’ at because we did. You know if we got a piercing in our days we would be banished.’’
The ‘here’ is the Mika Haka Foundation in Mt Roskill. It was founded in 2008 as a mentorship programme.
He mentors 15 people oneon-one each year and says thousands have been through the programme.
Students perform at popup events and festivals such as the Auckland Pride Festival.
‘‘I’m encouraging people who want to be creative, who want to push boundaries,’’ he says.
‘‘They all want to be successful. I know if they had their way they’d all be Lady Gaga and top 10 and that’s wonderful. However, my thing is all about being creative and crazy.’’
Haka says his students know being a performer doesn’t always pay the bills but doing what makes you happy is what matters.
‘‘I think we have a lot of nice arts in New Zealand, there’s not a lot of companies that I know that are pushing boundaries but also the arts have changed.
‘‘There used to be creation, now it’s about the bottom line, dollar-wise.’’
The Mika Haka Foundation will be hosting two shows as part of this year’s Matariki celebrations.
Ruffling feathers: Mt Roskill-based performer Mika set up the Mika Haka Foundation for up-coming entertainers.
Go to centralleader.co.nz and click Latest Edition to watch one of Mika’s music videos.