Topic: Entertainment

Māori DJ brothers scratching out successful lives

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Hawke's Bay DJ brothers, Matiu and Jay Bartlett are breaking new ground with their fusion of taonga puoro and scratching.

Matiu, a.k.a “Mighty Matt B”, is a competitive DJ from the mid-90's. He has now turned his focus to taonga puoro which digitises ancient sounds, bringing them into the modern era.

Matiu says, “Just take the taonga puoro somewhere new, we know it's not getting done anywhere else around the country so me and Jay being DJs we thought yup we're going to try it.”

Their DJ  journeys began from a backyard shed next to Kohupātiki Marae in Clive. Jays says, “I was just scratching in the shed, how we all started out at home in the bedroom or the shed and then just thinking about it now, it's gotten me places, just learning how to scratch.”

Jay began scratching out a career for himself as one of the top DJ's in the country, after more than a decade in the game, he's out to inspire today's youth.

“There's other things out besides hanging out on the streets, being on the streets and stuff. You can come and learn how to DJ or could be anything, could be learning to play the guitar or drumming or whatever,” says Jay.

While Jay has opened for Ashanti and Jah Rule and Matiu has toured Australia and Hawaii with his taonga puoro, the brothers believe if they can do it, anybody can.

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