The concept of a ‘supergroup’ is pretty naff these days––just be a regular human and call it a band, my dudes––but sometimes, you really have no choice other than to descend into cliches. I begin with this disclaimer because three of Aotearoa’s most adored hip-hop talents––producer IllBaz and rappers MELODOWNZ and Raiza Biza––have joined forces to create High Beams, a new collaborative album due for release this July. The term ‘supergroup’ sucks, yes, but what else are you gonna call it?
The three friends first conceptualised High Beams at IllBaz’s studio in Mount Roskill, where they’d hang out, play FIFA, and mess around with Baz’s demos. High Beams slowly came into full view, and the finished project is a stunner, featuring stars like TEEKS, Che Fu, Dirty and High Hoops.
The project was born out of fun circumstances, but it touches on issues close to the trio’s hearts. High Beams is about starting conversations and forcing listeners to look at conflicts and human injustices that are often overlooked. “Baz being from Palestine, myself being from Rwanda, and Melo being Polynesian, We see and deal with these issues daily,” says Raiza Biza of the project. “We like to have fun, but not at the expense of being true to ourselves.”
Today we’re premiering “Live Stream”, the project’s soulful first single, which features the vocals of TEEKS. "Live Stream" will on streaming services Friday 15/06. Listen below:
"Live Stream" is out Friday via Sony Music NZ.