From the world to the Ice Block

HIP-HOP KINGPIN: Rapper and hip-hop artist MC Woody will perform as part of the multi-media arts showcase Ice Block on Saturday. Now with his music studio installed at Kingpin Eastcoast, he encourages young musicians, rappers and producers to stop in for a chat. “I love working with locals, And I’m happy to help young people with their music.” Picture supplied

He has toured from the Pacific to Europe with top drum and bass act State of Mind but a spot at Rhythm and Vines gave MC Woody a taste of what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.

“The festival was here in Gisborne and that experience made me want to come back to Gisborne.”

Two years ago he did just that and on Saturday MC Woody will perform at the multi-media event and arts showcase Ice Block at the War Memorial Theatre.

Before his 10 years with State of Mind, the rap and hip-hop artist studied music under Salmonella Dub’s Andrew Penman when Tiki Taane visited. Students were set a songwriting project.

“Me and this other kid made some beats and I rapped about my class and how I was the worst looking one there,” says Woody.

“I got told by Tiki I had a knack for this. It was a huge confidence booster for me. Andrew pushed me and really helped me start believing in myself when my dad was sick.”

When Woody’s best friend passed away, the musician says he hadn’t felt so low since he lost his father.

“I wrote a song for him. Writing my own music helped me face the negative in my life. I was always that guy who was positive and upbeat, but there is always a dark side to one’s emotions and we need to face that side and accept it.”

Earlier this year, he released his debut solo EP, Don’t Cry For Me.

“Don’t Cry for Me was relatively easy to write because it’s all true,” he says.

“I am basically spilling my guts.”

All tracks on the album are collaborations with producers such as Wairoa-based American producer Zach Stark, Pat Hawkins, and P Money.

“P Money handed me a sample pack from an unknown producer Adam Lurman because he knew it would be exactly the right sounds to capture this misery.”

Woody quite likes “being a grey area in music”.

“I don’t want to make money from one crappy song. I made hip hop because I have more ability than I initially gave myself credit for. Michael Jackson said it’s better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. That stuck with me and I live by it.”

  • Ice Block, a multimedia party and arts showcase featuring DJs Dick Johnson, MC Woody and Dizfunk; live ice carving and pop-up performances, War Memorial Theatre foyer, Saturday, 7pm. Tickets $20 general, VIP $25 +bfs from Stephen Jones Photography, or www.ticketdirect.co.nz. Door sales.

He has toured from the Pacific to Europe with top drum and bass act State of Mind but a spot at Rhythm and Vines gave MC Woody a taste of what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.

“The festival was here in Gisborne and that experience made me want to come back to Gisborne.”

Two years ago he did just that and on Saturday MC Woody will perform at the multi-media event and arts showcase Ice Block at the War Memorial Theatre.

Before his 10 years with State of Mind, the rap and hip-hop artist studied music under Salmonella Dub’s Andrew Penman when Tiki Taane visited. Students were set a songwriting project.

“Me and this other kid made some beats and I rapped about my class and how I was the worst looking one there,” says Woody.

“I got told by Tiki I had a knack for this. It was a huge confidence booster for me. Andrew pushed me and really helped me start believing in myself when my dad was sick.”

When Woody’s best friend passed away, the musician says he hadn’t felt so low since he lost his father.

“I wrote a song for him. Writing my own music helped me face the negative in my life. I was always that guy who was positive and upbeat, but there is always a dark side to one’s emotions and we need to face that side and accept it.”

Earlier this year, he released his debut solo EP, Don’t Cry For Me.

“Don’t Cry for Me was relatively easy to write because it’s all true,” he says.

“I am basically spilling my guts.”

All tracks on the album are collaborations with producers such as Wairoa-based American producer Zach Stark, Pat Hawkins, and P Money.

“P Money handed me a sample pack from an unknown producer Adam Lurman because he knew it would be exactly the right sounds to capture this misery.”

Woody quite likes “being a grey area in music”.

“I don’t want to make money from one crappy song. I made hip hop because I have more ability than I initially gave myself credit for. Michael Jackson said it’s better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. That stuck with me and I live by it.”

  • Ice Block, a multimedia party and arts showcase featuring DJs Dick Johnson, MC Woody and Dizfunk; live ice carving and pop-up performances, War Memorial Theatre foyer, Saturday, 7pm. Tickets $20 general, VIP $25 +bfs from Stephen Jones Photography, or www.ticketdirect.co.nz. Door sales.
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