New Zealand-born singer songwriter Aaradhna takes Mulligan’s stage this Saturday. The Samoan-Indian songbird took New Zealand’s music scene by storm following a collaboration with artist Adeaze. Her music blends Amy Winehouse’s sultry vocals with Adele’s soul. Joining her on stage are fellow Polynesian and Brisbane natives Sammy J and Swiss. 21+. $25 presale. $35 at the door. 5pm doors. 6pm show. Mulligan’s On The Blue (100 Kaukahi St., Wailea)
We caught up with Aaradhna to find out more about her third release Treble and Reverb and her sound that she likes to call retro metro.
MauiTime: Welcome to Maui, Aaradhna! From one island to another, what are you looking forward to the most, being here?
Aaradhna: Talofa! Im most looking forward to seeing all my fellow Pacific Island Supports here in Hawaii, love meeting fans from the different islands.
MT: Hawaii is a melting pot, New Zealand all the more. We read that you are half Samoan, half Indian… How has that influenced your music?
A: Well my mother is Samoan, and I grew up watching her sing in church, so traditional church songs inspired me, and my father was a performer as well, of traditional Indian songs, so I had a very colourful upbringing as far as music is concerned.
MT: Polynesians are a very musical people, transmitting history and story through song and chant, did you grow up surrounded by a lot of music?
A: Yes I grew up surrounded by the music of both my parents cultures as, and also growing up in Porirua, Wellington it’s a heavily populated Polynesian community, of mixed Samoan,Tonga, and Maori cultures, we’re surrounded by it.
MT: Your sound and lyrics are very reminiscent of soul and blues, much like Amy Winehouse or Adele…thoughts?
A: Yes I love Amy Winhouse and I’ve always been influenced by old school soul music, I feel like the songs of the past have a lot more emotion and honesty in the lyrics, and I resonate towards that!
MT: Treble & Reverb is your 3rd Studio Album. What advice would you have given to yourself when you made “I Love You” in 2006?
A: Speak your mind, and always be honest in the studio.
MT: What was your favorite part about making this album in particular?
A: The Live sessions with the musician’s and creating a Polynesian sound of my own, I like to call it Retro / Metro !
MT: Congratulations on selling out shows during this tour! Do you have a dream venue you’d like to perform?
A: Yes, The Apollo Theatre in Harlem, I want to sing where all the great Soul singers were discovered, Jackson 5 , James Brown, Jackie Wilson, that would be a dream come true.
MT: Following the release of Getting Stronger with Adeaze, seems to be when we were introduced to you. How has collaborations with other artist played a role in your career thus far?
A: Well that was the first song I ever released commercially and it went straight to #1 in New Zealand and was certified GOLD, it was a huge success, so I always appreciate working with other artists, I recently recorded a song with J-Boog …so look out for that release in the future.
MT: Social Media plays a big part in how we communicate today and we noticed your artist page has over 80,000 likes. What’s the craziest thing a fan has written you?
A: People always tell me they want to Marry me, which is hilarious, and people always want to cook for me and things like that lol !
MT: Can you tell us the story behind your hand tattoos?
A: I wanted something that represented both my Samoan and Indian culture, that would remind me of Home while I’m away touring…..Every time I look at my hands I think of Home and my Family.
What’s on your iPod? Sammy J ! No Sleep
Last concert you attended? Kiwini Vaitai in Vegas, and it was awesome !
3 things you must have during a show? Vicks, Captain Morgan Rum, and Honey for my voice !