Tales from Onehunga
Hip-hop artists love to represent their hometowns and two Onehunga rappers are no different.
Daniel Latu (SPYCC) and Amon Tyson (INF) were born and raised in the suburb and still call it home to this day.
The pair have been nominated for the 2016 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards Critics’ Choice Prize alongside Auckland’s Scuba Diva and Dunedin’s Kane Strang.
The award has a focus on upand-coming artists that could potentially work their way to winning a New Zealand Music Award.
Latu, 26, says his lyrics reflect growing up in Onehunga, a place he’s witnessed huge change. He remembers when the main street was pedestrian only and had just two cafes.
‘‘Its cool because a lot of people try avoid talking about their own personal stories thinking maybe it’s boring or people aren’t interested,’’ the former Onehunga High School student says.
‘‘But I feel like that’s the main thing that sets you apart, your story, because you know it’s unique to you.
‘‘So that’s why I feel like we’re so proud of Onehunga because not everybody can say they’re from Onehunga, not everybody can say they’ve experienced what we’ve experienced.’’
Both Latu and Tyson are part of Onehunga hip-hop collective SWIDT (See What I Did There) that consists of six hip-hop artists who grew up in the area together.
The name was originally a saying the boys would tell each other when joking around.
‘‘It sounded cool and we ran with it,’’ Tyson says
‘‘I feel like it embodies everything we represent,’’ Latu says
‘‘As an art form it’s about making statements, I guess you could say we’re quite edgy and very up front.’’ Tyson says the group have a strong chemistry as a result of growing up together.
‘‘We say whatever we want to each other, it’s always laughter or jokes, we’re never taking ourselves too seriously.’’
Latu and Tyson are now working on their own record to be released next year. ‘‘The stuff we’ve been creating for our album, there’s just like this really good feeling about it,’’ Latu says.
SPYCC and INF will perform at the Critics’ Choice Prize on November 2 at the Tuning Fork outside Vector Arena.
The winner receives an $8000 grant from NZ On Air.