It’s New Zealand music month! We are spotlighting some of our favourite kiwi artists who are pushing the limits and making waves in our local scene.
Words by Oli Spencer
Photography by Oli Spencer
FABLE wears nineteen99
Our first 'Get To Know' is with Papakura-based Māori artist FABLE, who has found a special pocket of sound like no other. An ethereal blend of alternative and electronic, FABLE’s music speaks to the generations before him, as well as pushing forward for the next.
We’ll admit, we had been sleeping on FABLE… but that ended the second we heard his latest EP ‘I’ll See You In Hawaiki’. The 9-track project highlights the artist’s unique sound as he explores his relationship with his family, ancestors and Māori mythology, finding hope in the Māori legend of Hawiki, the traditional Māori place of origin. Woven together through intricate production from top to bottom, he describes the project as “the winds that brushed against the sails that our tūpuna used to travel across the Pacific.”
More recently, FABLE released his latest single 'Easier', featuring Silas Futura. The track unpacks the importance of surrounding yourself with people who support you and encourage you, especially in a time of such uncertainty, and a time that has taken a toll on societies mental health. He sheds light on the importance of reaching out, and a reminder that you are never a burden.
Get to know FABLE, one of the most exciting and refreshing talents to begin their rise in Aotearoa, below.
GET TO KNOW: FABLE
First CD you ever bought?
To be honest I can’t remember exactly but it would probably be one of those ‘Now That's What I Call Music’ CDs haha. Either that or the Kolohe Kai ‘This Is The Life’ album.
Who is your O.G New Zealand artist?
What’s the most rewarding part of making music?
Being able to express myself and connect with others.
You’ve just released your latest single ‘Easier’ - what does that song mean to you?
The song to me is a reminder to appreciate the little things, make time for loved ones and to remember to lean on them when I need to.
Can you remember the first time you felt confidence in yourself as an artist?
For me there wasn’t a particular time or instance, I think it’s a gradual and continuous thing. The more I make music the more I grow in confidence.
Top three FABLE tracks in your opinion?
Not too sure haha but my current favourites are ‘Mahi Hard’, ‘Easier’ and ‘Let Me In’ (probably some recency bias coming in lol).
Do you have any mantras?
Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tuohu koe me he maunga teitei - seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain.
Last song you listened to?
‘Guilty Conscience’ by 070 Shake.
Which NZ artist would you love to get on a FABLE track?
Fiveofive and Azryd (both goated).
I’m a huge fan of your ‘I’ll See You In Hawaiki’ EP. Did the project teach you anything about yourself as an artist?
ISYIH made me realise that my waiata can open portals, and that our stories as indigenous people are powerful and important.
If I’ll See You In Hawaiki had a texture, what would it be?
The EP feels like the winds that brushed against the sails our tūpuna used to travel across the Pacific.
How do you go about staying true to yourself in your music?
Trusting my gut and making the music I want to make.
What can you share about what you have in the works?