Pacific-Music Awards winning, New Zealand street poet and rapper MELODOWNZ has released his long-awaited debut album, 'LONE WOLF', out now via Def Jam ANZ and SNIFFERS Records. Holiday Records had the absolute pleasure of bringing this debut accomplishment to the physical world by pressing it on fresh white vinyl (see the video below of MELODOWNZ visiting us onsite here at Holiday Records).
LONE WOLF arrives as MELODOWNZ first full-length project since the rapper's 2018 EP Melo & Blues, and 2017’s breakout mixtape, Avontales, which found the rapper painting a graphic portrait of events based in his cultural melting pot hometown of Avondale, West Auckland. While his Auckland community and Polynesian heritage is always centred at the heart of his art, 'LONE WOLF' finds MELODOWNZ renewing his wairua (energy) by breaking away from the status quo, experimenting with the bounds of his sound, and embarking on a new era of spiritual independence symbolized by the metaphorical lone wolf.
Taking his Aotearoa street storytelling to the world on 'LONE WOLF', the album follows a versatile rollout of singles, including ‘No Mercy’ featuring Denzel Curry, ‘Pray For More’ ft. Mikey Dam & Lisi, ‘Slow Jamz’, ‘BAD’, ‘Loot’ featuring Maxo Kream, and ‘How It Be’ featuring Bootsy Collins. The 14-track album takes listeners on a multidimensional journey portraying the many sides to MELODOWNZ gemini identity, from his upbringing raised on traditional, timeless 90’s hip-hop, raw gangster rap and early days of falling in love with the artform of freestyling (‘Hibiki Freestyle’), to modern contemporary elements woven between hard-hitting trap (‘No Mercy’), 70’s funk-pop (How It Be), R&B slow burners (‘Slow Jamz’), gospel (‘Pray For More’), dance music (‘BAD’), and much more.
The album also features new collaborations with Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter INK, American rapper/singer-songwriter Bleu, and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and Kanye West collaborator Ant Clemons. Balanced between star-studded international collaborations and his local ecosystem of the thriving New Zealand music scene, 'LONE WOLF' also features multi-award winning Māori musician Troy Kingi and an appearance from Avondale Intermediate Choir, who close the album with full circle, personal spirit extremely close to the artists heart.
"This album was such a journey - from writing it in my makeshift Auckland studio to linking up with Dj Khalil, Bizness Boi and Denzel Curry in LA. It really opened my eyes musically. I’m a brother from Avondale that started rapping in my bros carport over a few drinks as a teen, so to be making music with some of the genres most iconic rappers and producers - even funk godfather Bootsy Collins, I’m beyond grateful."
Portraying personal themes of wisdom, maturity, and independence by way of his vivid storytelling and razor-sharp lyrical prowess, on his debut album, 'LONE WOLF', MELODOWNZ undergoes immense growth as both an artist and as a man.
We had the pleasure of catching up with the man himself to chat about his influences, the new album and of course the (now sold-out) vinyl record release pressed by Holiday Records. Read it below.
Tell us a bit about yourself
Names Bron Sun aka MELODOWNZ, I was born and raised in Avondale. I’m of Samoan, Maori and English decent.
Tell us a bit about the album - What were some of the inspirations behind its creation and the album itself?
This is my debut album. It’s pretty much a compilation of experiences, influences, music I was listening to and vibes that struck me at the time. The album itself is quite versatile and diverse. The lone wolf theme is about being comfortable and content with one’s self. Resilient and aware through it all.
Tell us about the album artwork - What was the inspiration? Who is the artist/photographer?
Frances Carter did a dope job. I wanted it to be kinda moody and I’m born in the 90s, so you can probably see the animorphs reference haha.
Tell us why you chose to press it to vinyl - What do vinyl records mean to you? Why did you choose Holiday Records? Any reasons behind the colour vinyl choices?
I feel it’s very necessary for a debut album. And the vinyl culture in NZ is thriving so I wanted to contribute to that. Choosing Holiday records because I wanted it all local and you guys a cool asf.
Any upcoming gigs we can plug?
Long line classic, northern bass and my album release shows in the near future.
Buy MELODOWNZ merch, records and learn more HERE.