We spoke with Jahra 'Rager' Wasasala shortly after she'd performed her solo 'a world, with your wound in it' and the group show ORCHIDS at the Tempo Dance Festival. She spoke about the come-down after performing such works following years of prep, the conflicting tension that comes with the question 'where are you from'?, the problem with terms like Polynesian and Melanesian, not being afraid as an artist, the challenges of training institutions for young creatives, her mantra ‘The world as a woman’s body’, the creative influence of her mother and much, much more.
"I went back for the first time in December to Kenya... I got there, and people stare at me even more than they do here, because I’m mixed. Probably that was the biggest learning. There’s probably never gonna be somewhere I fit completely so I’m just gonna have to make my own lane. Or just be comfortable in the fact that I am mixed. I’m me. I’m whole, and I am who I am."
Josie & T (Josie Oloioto'a & Te Awariki Lardelli) talk about using their vlog to confront casual racism, sexism and homophobia, and the sex-ed they wished they had in high school. They also talk about mental health and the importance of strong platonic relationships, the impact of religion and culture on their lives, and the epic story of how they finally formed an IRL friendship.
TEEKS aka Te Karehana Gardiner-Toi discusses his stunning EP, The Grapefruit Skies, and the impact Māori culture and growing up speaking te reo has had on his life, and his music.
“Growing up with the language, but also the whole culture of being Māori – singing, or being musically inclined - is just a part of being Māori as well. It’s a given ay, it’s like a pre-requisite, if you’re Māori you have to know how to sing, do kapa haka and write songs and perform.”
David Dallas talks about his identity as a Samoan/Palagi afakasi growing up in South Auckland and how that shaped him and his music. He talks about being a rap and computer nerd, a music pirate, and how Sirvere and DLT's The True School on Max TV influenced and informed his knowledge of rap. He also goes deep about his latest album Hood Country Club, why long time collaborators Fire & Ice were tougher on him this album, and why the album was more difficult to write than others.
Israel Adesanya aka "The Stylebender" chats with Lani and Ben about moving from Nigeria to Rotorura, NZ, and going from a kid who was bullied in school to a professional fighter. They talk a lot about fighting and how that relates to life and his love of dance, why he chose fighting over dancing, his recent fights, the prospect of fighting in the UFC, who will win in the Mayweather v McGregor fight and keeping a winners mentality even after tough losses.
Actor, writer and director Madeleine Sami chats with Lani and Ben about growing up in Onehunga, the clash of cultures there, and how Onehunga High School has influenced her work, and the characters she's played. She discusses her Mum's staunch insistence on repping her Irish ancestry and how her South Auckland identity may have overshadowed her Fiji/Indian identity earlier on in life. They also talk about the role race and gender plays in the kind of work that's available to her and why it can be necessary to create the roles you want to play for yourself.
TV3 weather presenter Kanoa Lloyd talks to Lani & Ben about living a gypsy life as a child, the pressure that comes with publicly advocating for te reo Māori in mainstream media, dealing with criticism, being outspoken about abuse, and how starting out in children’s TV taught her valuable lessons about writing and presenting the weather.
And, what may be a first in Snacks and Chats history - everyone actually eats snacks during their chats!!
“At this point, I can’t even really communicate with my cousins. My Swahili is so broken, my Kinyarwanda is basically non-existent…the catch 22 is that my parents thought speaking English with us would give us some sort of head-start in life.”
From Rwanda to Hamilton, Raiza Biza traces the steps of how his family came to New Zealand, talks about the years it took to adjust to life here, the lingering guilt of feeling like he’s not doing enough, and the importance of advocating for women’s rights and equality. He also talks to Lani and Ben about the creative community in Hamilton and how travel has aided in his observational style of music.