Willi the Kid

NiceUp talks to Auckland-based selector, producer and musician, Willi the Kid, about his latest project – The Solomonic Band.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your history in the NZ reggae scene?

I was born and raised in the heart of Grey Lynn, Auckland city.  I started DJing at around the age of thirteen  under the guidance of The Chaplin and Bass Steppa Sound who are also from Auckland.  At around seventeen I started playing bass guitar for a group called The Midnights, Earthtone Rockers and also working on other one-off projects.

I really started getting into events when I was about nineteen or twenty with the bigger underground dances that were happening like the Base FM vs Fleet FM sound-clash.

I was producing and playing all instruments from early on but started to take it seriously at twenty-one and then released the track, Ahi Kaa, on the Conscious Roots 3 compilation with Beau Te Awe.

What inspires and influences you musically?

I’m influenced by a lot of Jamaican, UK and African roots, reggae, dancehall artists and all soul based music in general…hip-hop, jungle, dubstep, jazz, soul, funk…a bit of everything helps.

So you’ve now formed a band called the Solomonics – can you give us a bit of background about the crew and how you formed?

Solomon Heke come up from down the line with a beautiful artillery of songs.  After the muso’s he had been working with became busy with projects, we started working together and have been writing, recording and jamming for the last two years.  We’re sitting on almost two albums now and are currently trying to recruit a drummer.  For the time being we’re performing soundsystem style with Willi the Kid on the wheels of steel.

We’re looking forward to soon releasing our debut album, Benediction, as it’s almost finished, and as soon as we get a drummer we’ll hit a tour.

How would you describe your sound?

Militant roots, reggae, soul, Kings music.

You’ve just recorded an album – where did you do this and can you tell us a bit about the production?

The album was recorded all from home (the Lions Den Studio) and has quite a vintage/retro sound.  It’s a pretty straight-forward, semi-dubwise dedication to roots reggae.

So when is the album release set for?

We are just finishing up now and hope to do a release during summer, or asap!

What plans have you got for the rest of ’09?

Keep banging beats! I’m doing some work for a few artists including Kapisi, Homebrew and Silva at the mo along with Bronze, Chyld and Dr Seuss so trying to keep it tight and finish a lot of projects.

Any last words for the massive?

I’d like to thank God Almighty for this life.

Much respect, love and overstanding reaching out to all the real people here in this land and all over the world.  Big up and huge appreciation to Art and Vanita at NiceUp for all the good works.

And to all those that made it possible for me to contribute to Jah music – a big thank you and to all blessings and love.

More info:
Willi the Kid MySpace
The Solomonics MySpace

Venus Hi Fi