In this series, we present our new composers. We are proud to introduce Mistee K
E tū whakahīhī ana nga maunga tapu a Kahurānaki me Te Mata o Rongokako
E rere tomokia te awa a Ngaruroro-moko-tuararo-ki-
Hoatu te waka ki waho, hoatu te waka ki uta Te waka tapu o Takitimu
Ka puta te tini me te mano a Ngāti Kahungunu
Ka ao a Ngati Toa Harapaki
Ka whakaaraara ake toku marae ko Kohupātiki
Ka hahū ake te whare tīpuna ko Tānenuiarangi
Mōkori anō ka rere a mihi ki a Hineahuone te wharekai.
E noho piri tata ki te whanau o toku mama.
Ka titiro ki te tihi o te maunga tapu a Tongariro
Ka marino tonu nga wai o te roto a Taupo- nui- a- tia
He mārū te heke iho i runga mai o te waka Te Arawa .
He uri matou o Ngāti Tūwharetoa
Nga manu e kuikui nei o Te hapu a Ngati Turumakina
Ki runga I Te wahi tapu o Waihi Marae
I raro I te korowai aroha o te whakaruruhau o Tapeka
Ka huihui te Mano ki te whare mātoro a Hīnana
Tenei wahi tapu e awhi i te whanau a toku papa.
Kua tae mai ko au. He māmā, he hoa, he uri o Ngati Kahungunu, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngai Tuhoe me Ngai Tahu.
Ko Melanie Huata-Lucas toku ingoa e mihi kau ana ki a koutou katoa e te iwi whanau whanui.
What does a typical composing day look like for you? Please describe your routine. Is it strict or more free-form?
A typical composing day would most likely happen for me during the silent hours 10pm-3am or the creative hours I like to call it. Due to having a very busy household with 4 young boys under 7 this is the only time I can usually jot down ideas and let the music creative flow begin. So if I have ideas that come to me I record voice memos on my phone or put lyrics down in my notebook and then come back to it when I can give all my attention.
Please describe the space where you compose your music. What makes this space special and why have you chosen it? (eg. the view, location, practical necessity, equipment – or lack thereof).
Some of my most favourite locations I have recorded music or written some of my best compositions, would be inside the marae wharenui, out and about in my car- at the beach and park, but when in the “creative hours” I record in my older son’s room/ cabin outside in the stillness of the night. The lighting sets the colour of what mood or vibe I am trying to create the ambience. A comfortable serene space is essential for when I compose music. I chose this space, because there are no distractions, I can see the beautiful city lights and am reminded of the love that surrounds me and I dive straight in for as long as I can.
What equipment (including software) do you have in your space? Is thereIn my space, “creative hours” I have my PC, condenser microphone, interface setup and speakers along with scents like candles or diffuser and lighting.
In the daytime when I am able to catch a quiet moment I drive and park up in my car at locations where I can find peace and tranquility, usually by the ocean or a park with beautiful spring flowers in sight. In this instance I use my laptop and headphones with a portable microphone or internal microphone. Fun fact, My last album was nominated best R&B Album of the Year (Waiata Maori Music Awards), ‘The Next Chapter’ was created this way. Not one song was recorded in a studio. I wanted to show other aspiring singer/songwriters/composers that they too can achieve and record their own music without the flash mod cons of a studio they are led to believe. Not everyone has the access to studio’s or studio equipment. I am grateful that this album in particular was acknowledged the way that it was.
Please describe your typical composing process (i.e. how do you find and shape your materials?). Does it change with each song?
It does change with certain songs, but the majority is structured/created through poetry. Also, I like to listen to the music/instrumental and see where that guides me in terms of topic and then the composition unfolds.
What are you currently working on in your space? If you can’t reveal that just yet, what have you finished recently and how/where/when can people experience it?
Recently, Sept 2021 I have released my album Melz vs Mistee K. This album delivers an experience of growth in one word to explain. When I first began my music career my artist name was Melz which is my nickname. I didn’t find this too much of a problem until the critics knuckled down quite hard on me and I began to take the criticism to heart and personally. So in 2012 I decided to create a persona so that any criticism both good or bad that was thrown my way I could take it was and not in a personal way. Best advice I could give anyone starting out. So this particular project displays Melz and how my sound, style and writing has evolved as a woman, mother and persona who literally inhales and exhales confidence, character and style. Pushing boundaries whilst remaining grounded true to my ahurea (culture) and my roots. This album is also the very first feature album I have released, I currently have 5 albums independently created and distributed on digital platforms so it is nice to now show a different side of Mistee K and how I can work with other artists.
Please tell us about yourself and what you do. (eg. instruments you play, where you work/teach, your aesthetic direction, memorable concert experience, favourite ninja turtle etc.)
Music has always been the constant in my life, It helps to heal, express and create from the most inner depths of my heart and experiences. I love being inspired by what surrounds me daily, my children,my whanau, the taio (nature), dreams and aroha.
I have been fortunate to perform in some places people would only ever dream of in Aotearoa and abroad. From the Waiata Maori Awards 2010, to the shores of Gallipoli in 2013, to the guests of locals and tourists in the step seats of Time Square New York, to the front steps of the National Academy of Music in Paris, France. But my most rewarding experience is working with rangatahi who gain inspiration from my experiences that ignite a spark of wisdom within them to pursue their wildest dreams too. I am a vocal coach and mentor as well as a mother, sister, daughter, cousin, partner and friend. So I like to share my knowledge to then encourage those who reach out or wish to pursue a career in the musical path.
My favourite female singer/songwriter (before my sister started to compose music haha) is Mariah Carey. I love her particular structure of songwriting, how she rhythmically places her melodic vocals and of course her whistle notes. My style is highly influenced by artists from the early 90’s such as Aaliyah, SWV, Janet Jackson, Mariah, Brandy, Zhane’ and Groove Theory just to name a few. My favourite Male artist is Warren G. Ever since a young age I have loved G funk style music and particularly loved Warren G’s style and sound. Memorable concerts for me- well there have been so many! But I got to see Mariah Carey live in 2018 here in Tamaki Makaurau and I am so excited to see Warren G next year in November for his concert with none other than Snoop Dogg.! so there is 2 bucket list tick offs for me 🙂
I don’t play any instruments but I hope to learn the piano and guitar. I usually play by ear so I would need to work on reading music and making time to further develop in these areas.
Please choose 2-3 of your works/albums and tell us about them (works with audio or video links if possible). From the albums I have on digital platforms at the moment they are as listed-
–All in good time- Released 12 Sept 2012 (Nans Birthday and the year she gain her angel wings)
-The colours through Black and White -Released 14 Feb 2014 (Valentines day and a time to give love to myself again.)
-The Next Chapter -Released 18 Aug 2020 (Papas Birthday)
-Melz vs Mistee K- Released 15 Sept 2021 (My birthday a present for me to acknowledge the growth in all ways. )
All albums have been released on significant dates and I have some of my very own favs on these albums which tell stories not only of my own experiences but of people closest to me as well. I am currently working on a bio/vlog series to dive deeper in depth for those who wish to know how these albums came about, why I released them on these certain dates, and the stories which lay in the background to bring forth the final outcome.
How can people contact you? If applicable, please provide your website and social media links.
My music can be found on all good digital platforms
Apple music, Pandora, youtube -Mistee K
Instagram misteekmusic https://www.instagram.com/misteekmusic/
Fb MISTEE K
Soundcloud Mistee K https://soundcloud.com/mistee_k
Would you like to tell us anything else?
I look forward to engaging with more like minded composers and am excited for the doors that may open from being welcomed into this space.
‘Whaia te iti Kahurangi ki te tuohu koe me he maunga teitei’ – seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain.