Kaivai is that Undercover Guy in the Suit


On Kaivai’s book shelf sits the Art Of War by Sun Tzu on top of that sits Jay Z’s Decoded and next to that sits a CD by Marina And The Diamonds.  As I form interview questions in my mind, I wonder how I’ll crack this guys story. He’s clearly faceted. His lounge is littered with instruments, broken drum sticks lay around, thrashed.  X Box controllers slouch on the couch and various red plastic containers live in corners of the room filled with leads, tambourines, mics and other audio gadgets. But, sitting in Finc on a Tuesday afternoon he wears an expensive suit, sipping a cup of tea. After this interview he will return to his 9-5 as a  Communications Coordinator for the Wellington City Council. Tomorrow, after hours, he will play an opening set for up and coming hip hop artist Raiza Biza at Medusa and though he does not expect many people to be at his own set, Kaivai feels that’s good, because it will take the pressure off him and let him relax and just jam, which essentially he says, it’s what he likes to do anyway. 

HH: What can people expect of your live show? 

K: Well a lot of the samples are kind of taken from old Tahitian music and there’s one that chants and it’s kind of slowed down and it’s supposed to be danceable but I’ve slowed it down and want to get more groove into it. It’s groovy by itself, but it’s real up tempo. I want it to be like mid 90’s to 100 bpm I want people to just kind of knock…If I was expecting people to be at this particular show just to see me then I probably would have done something a little different but I’m doing this knowing I’m there to support other guys on the bill. It’s kind of dumb, in a sense, you know, I should be doing something that really is me. And this is me, it’s just a different side of me. For people who have seen me before, this is probably a little bit more improvisational it’s more like what I do in my bedroom by myself…It’s more me in my crazy head like more of my weird ideas or as much as I can do with the MPC at the level that I’m at with it. You should probably just expect to hear something from me that you haven’t before.

HH: As a creative, would you say you’re crazy? 

K: Yeah. I do shit that even I’m shocked by. Like the Tahitian track…it’s been done before by MIA but I get off doing weird shit that other people wouldn’t necessarily do but then like putting it in people’s faces and making it sound commercial because you wouldn’t  expect it to sound like that. I enjoy making commercial sounding music because I love fucking with people …I think I do it in the sense that people don’t expect hard music from me…Like at my show at the [Botanical] gardens earlier this year, I came up and I was wearing a green suit and I sang a song about blow jobs like in front of families and shit like that but people don’t know because I was singing it in a way that they wouldn’t understand but if people actually took the time to listen they would have known. I sung a song in front of families called ‘Same Old Shit’ like about someone who keeps on getting fucked around by guys.

HH: So you have a private joke in your own head?

K: Yeah I have a private joke in my own head and it’s funny to me but no one else gets it, that’s what I enjoy. I’ll share it with some people and my friends who are usually in on the joke are like down there in the audience laughing their heads of because people are like ‘yeaah blow jobs… fellatio’.

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