9 Jul 2016

Troy Kingi live in session

From RNZ Music

Musician-actor Troy Kingi, best known for his role in Hunt for the Wilderpeople, drops into the RNZ studio to play a couple of tracks from his forthcoming double-album Guitar Party at Uncle’s Bach.

Whatever Troy Kingi turns his hand to he'll just glide through it. Take his star-turn in Taika Waititi's Hunt for the Wilderpeople as TK, the affable father who made a hash of his selfie with juvenile outlaw Ricky Baker in between cheering for the NZ Warriors

"All my lines were my improv lines. There was no line about the Warriors in the script."

Swimming through life is an appropriate metaphor for a certified diving instructor, which was Kingi's day job before the "singing and acting buzz took off".

The moment of necessary resourcefulness arose when the Kerikeri-based musician-actor and seafood addict needed to feed his growing family.

"I was doing music for a long time, but music wasn't bringing in the dollars,"

Following his wife's wise advice to find something he loved doing, Kingi took himself off to his local Northland dive shop and became a dive instructor.

Troy Kingi

Troy Kingi Photo: Elliot Childs, RNZ

Music and performance has been a constant for Troy since as his boarding school days where he picked up the guitar as one Te Aute College's kapa haka performers.

Although most of his repertoire consisted of kapa haka standards and some Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, the family's relocation to Kerikeri saw Troy's musical horizons expand to Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park when he attended the predominantly Pākehā local high school.

Now a firm fan of Queens of the Stone Age and "anything by Jack White", Troy describes himself as a dirt-blues guitarist.

In between raising his four children in Kerikeri, Troy has traversed the country performing live, starred in films such as Pa Boys and Mount Zion, and mentored prison inmates in the final season of Māori Television's Songs From The Inside. Which may explain why it's taken eight years to write and record his forthcoming double-album Guitar Party at Uncle's Bach.

Mara TK and Troy Kingi with Purple Haze

Mara TK and Troy Kingi with Purple Haze Photo: Yadana Saw

The album is inspired by Troy's love of guitar singalongs at family gatherings, and it was recorded in Lyttelton at Ben Edwards' Sitting Room studio.

He sat down with Yadana Saw to shares some of the tracks from the new release.

Related content

Music details

Artist: Troy Kingi
Songs: Just a Phase, I Know Fate
Composer: T. Kingi
Album: RNZ Recording
Label: RNZ Recording