The 38-year-old, who was born and raised in Christchurch, has had an illustrious career spanning more than two decades. With her smoky voice and soulful mix of hip-hop, R&B and reggae influences, Ladi6 has been dubbed New Zealand’s response to Erykah Badu, with three studio albums – released in 2008, 2010 and 2013 respectively – to her credit.
During his 20-year career, the hip-hop artist has received wide recognition for his work, winning several New Zealand Music Awards and touring internationally.
After several years out of the limelight due to bereavement and ill health, Ladi6 returned to the summer festival circuit this year and is currently appearing as a panelist on Three’s. The masked singer NZ.
Speaking to Newshub, Ladi6 said it was difficult to express his most notable achievements, but recognized that his ability to progressively carve out a progressive path as a Pacific artist was a point of particular pride.
âI think I’m really proud of my dedication to the music industry, producing music that I really believe in – never really followed trends,â she said.
âI think I’m really proud that it wasn’t a smooth race, or a straight upward trajectory in a way. I think staying dedicated to the job is what I’m most proud of after 20 years. “
She also referred to helping her husband and frequent collaborator, Brent Parks – aka Parks – whom she married in 2015 after a 12-year partnership.
âArtists come and go, and I think I’m pretty proud that Parks and I have maintained [an] honest and genuine progression of our music. “
Ladi6 said she was particularly amazed at the lengthy and top-secret nomination process it takes to become a candidate for the New Zealand Order of Merit.
âI think the most special thing about getting this is realizing how you actually get it – you are nominated by someone, in great secrecy, who is part of your community. They have to. fill out an application and get arbitratorsâ¦ up, then you’re recommended, and that goes for approval, âshe said.
âFor me that was the most amazing thing to know – that someone really wanted to see me achieve this honor. I feel quite overwhelmed and proud enough that my community thinks that I am someone to look up toâ¦ I feel so much appreciation and gratitude for being seen from that angle. “
Ladi6 is now looking forward to celebrating this milestone.
“I think I’m going to throw myself a big dinner and a big party with my close family and friends to celebrate itâ¦ I’m going to get big for sure.”
Takutai Kemp was also among the newest officers of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM), for service to street dance and youth, while Teremoana Rapley, TV presenter and member of the hip-hop group Upper Hutt Posse, has been named MNZM for television and music services.