DALLAS TAMAIRA New Soulful Single 'Spider'

April 8th 2021
Lockdown single one, ‘No Flowers’, marked Dallas Tamaira’s (Fat Freddy’s Drop) rebirth as a solo artist with its release in the second half of 2020 .

The brand new single 'Spider’ represents the peaceful, slower pace of life Tamaira fell in love with during his confinement at home. 'Spider’ has late-night summer vibes, dark guitar and heavy bass contrasted with large sweeping layers of vocals, all brought together with soulful piano flourishes. The result is smooth, lush, low-fi “slow soul”, delivered by arguably one of the world’s most gifted soul vocalists.

“The underlying message in the lyrics is that life can be hard sometimes and that’s ok. For some people it’s more important to see the world for how it is rather than maintaining a constant positive outlook. We are all built differently and that’s a beautiful thing. Whether you chose to be present in the now or escape reality completely, do it on your own terms and don’t let anyone else tell you how to live your life.” - Dallas Tamaira 


Dallas Tamaira


Almost exactly one year ago, Dallas Tamaira was at home in Wellington, reflecting on a tour that wasn’t to be. The band he helped found almost 20 years ago, Fat Freddy’s Drop, had just embarked on an exciting six-week European tour, with the majority of their gigs instant sell-outs. But Covid-19 had other plans, and having racked up just one gig of a planned 14, the acclaimed Kiwi band was forced to return to Aotearoa, and a largely uncertain future.

In self-isolation, which was followed swiftly by New Zealand’s seven-week Level Four lockdown, Tamaira (Ngati Tuwharetoa) found he felt far from “stuck”, “For me, isolation and lockdown were the perfect storm,” says the self-proclaimed introvert. “There was nothing else to do but write and create. It gave me the time and space to finish the final stages of production and mixes for two brand new singles.”

Those singles – ‘No Flowers’, which marked Tamaira’s rebirth as a solo artist with its release in the second half of 2020 – and the brand new single '
Spider' represent the peaceful, slower pace of life Tamaira fell in love with during his confinement at home. 

“Making slow, intimate music really made sense to me during that time"  - Dallas Tamaira 

Friend, musician and producer Devin Abrams (Pacific Heights/Drax Project) is a worthy collaborator, joining Tamaira to produce both singles.

“Dallas and I have shared a close friendship/brotherhood alongside the odd creative collaboration for many, many years. It is now though, that we have closely begun to work together on fully articulating his own creative stories through this project. I have always treasured his approach to his art and how committed he is to each and every word he sings and it is an honour to be able to help Dallas bring to life these stories in the fruition of fully formed songs. Excited about sharing these songs with the world is an understatement and a half….” Devin says.

Dallas Tamaira is a multi-talented talented vocalist, musician, producer, illustrator and actor, the conscious voice of a generation.

Under the moniker of 'Joe Dukie' he’s risen to international acclaim as the velvet smooth vocalist for Fat Freddy’s Drop, a band considered one of the finest live draws worldwide. In 2020 Dallas Tamaira is making a welcome return to his roots as a solo artist with the release of ‘No Flowers’ his first solo release in 21 years.

Dallas is of Ngati Tuwharetoa and Pakeha descent, born in Ōtautahi / Christchurch and raised in the small coastal town of Kaikoura. His Freddys stage name is inspired by his father singer-songwriter Joe and paternal grandfather, a musician nicknamed Dukie after Duke Ellington. Music is in the blood. Legendary singers Bill Withers and D’Angelo are strong artistic inspirations and influences.

In Christchurch, Dallas joined the likes of Ladi6 and Scribe on a school holiday programme run by groundbreaking theatre and music group Pacific Underground. He then joined Pacific Underground to tour and perform around the country as an actor and singer before moving to Wellington.

In Aotearoa’s capital city he linked up with producer and beat maker MU (Chris Faiumu) aka DJ Fitchie and the two struck a rich musical vein that continues today. Dallas wrote and released his solo debut EP, Better Than Change in 1999 with MU as producer. The music video for 'Better Than Change' was directed by Sima Urale and featured photographer Ans Westra with her distinctive Rolliflex camera and images from her book ‘Maori’ that Dallas has always felt an affinity with.

As Joe Dukie and DJ Fitchie, the duo released ‘Midnight Marauders’ ‘This Room’ and ‘Seconds’ on limited edition vinyl and founded Bongmaster, a house party funk jam band. Bongmaster then evolved to seven piece group Fat Freddy’s Drop. The rest is history as the independent artist owned and operated soul monster went on to release iconic and award winning albums Live at Matterhorn, Based On A True Story, Dr Boondigga & The Big BW, Blackbird, BAYS and Special Edition Part 1.

Dallas has fronted Fat Freddy’s Drop powerhouse from the early underground days in Wellington to headlining sell out shows across Europe, UK, Australia and back home in Aotearoa New Zealand. In 2005 Dallas was awarded Best Vocalist at the bNet NZ Music Awards, and he also illustrated Freddys iconic cartoon characters for HOPE and B.O.A.T.Salbums.

Dallas is in high demand as a guest vocalist, recording tracks for international acts such as The Nextmen, Gentlemen’s Dub Club, Eva Be, Recloose and Boozoo Bajou and locally with Pacific Heights, Tubbs and Shapeshifter.

“...Tamaira, “one of the most soulful singers of his generation”  - BBC’s Jon Lusk, BBC

“Singer-lyricist Joe Dukie (real name Dallas Tamaira), whose smooth, soulful vocals have led him to be called “a Maori Marvin Gaye” Christine Moritz, Variety Is The Spice.

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