About the Artist

Cat Tunks (aka Black Sand Diva - Te Whanau a Apanui/Whakatohea ) - is songwriter, band leader & vocalist with the Auckland world soul/funk & jazz group BlackSandDiva, and has toured Nationwide and around the Pacific leading her band consisting of a stellar line up of heavyweight Auckland musicians - including Kiri Maree Kainamu Wheeler (keys, Stan Walker), Jason Orme (drums - Grand Central Band/Nairobi Trio) and Aaron Coddel (bass - Nathan Haines) & Damian Hauwai (Aradhna) guitar.

With guest appearances live & recorded that include Roger Manins (sax) & Riki Bennett (Taonga Puoro), the result is an intoxicating world guitar groove intwined with fat beats and whiskey smooth vocals, laced with a sophisticated palette of jazz influenced piano stylings to ice the cake.
Unafraid of genre blending, as comfortable pumping gutsy roots, pacific blues and smooth reggae funk grooves, or doing sexy and sophisticated inspired beats, heartfelt acoustic numbers, with a resulting unique style 'organic to the wild west coast' - referring to Cat's upbringing on the wild black sand beaches of Auckland's West Coast.

..."A heartfelt blend of soul, roots & funk, presented in an entirely unique way. Catchy phrasing and lyrics blend with solid bass and guitar lines that are on fire, South Pacific style groove mixes with Taonga Puoro to become a uniquely New Zealand sound. Whiskey smooth vocals that pull you in with stories and secrets that linger later in your mind...."

The second release after first album Chameleon (2009), Rāwāhi is a collection of songs inspired by life on the wild NZ coast, with Maori & Irish roots reflecting a connection with the land and sea that is evident in a personal interpretation through the lyrics.


Latest Release

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Rawahi by BlackSandDiva cover art


Rawahi is the 2012 follow up to the successful yet very different Chameleon (2009) - made with help from Te Waka Toi/Creative NZ. The album was produced by Cat Tunks ...