WATCH: Meet the Musician Who Broke Lorde’s Record
Kings still produces his beats in a little studio in Awataha Marae, where his first laptop, pulled apart and mounted on the wall, reminds him how far he has come.
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Kings, real name Kingdon Chapple-Wilson, knows exactly where he's from. And without that, he says, his achievements over the past couple of years wouldn't have been possible. In 2016 his absurdly catchy hit "Don't Worry 'Bout It" broke the record for most weeks at number one on the New Zealand singles charts, a record previously held by none other than Lorde.
Kings still mixes, masters, and produces all his tracks in a little studio at Awataha Marae, the exact spot where he started out seven years ago—his first laptop, given to him by his father, has been deconstructed, framed, and mounted on the wall. "Never forget where you come from, Focus on where you are going," reads the accompanying plaque. "A young man," Kings says, "can't move forward" without recognising where he's from. "Before that I was chasing music with such a fame-orientated goal, and I was just trying to be cool. Until I found out through my heritage and through my blood that I was cool already."