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Ngaiire spreads her wings

ON THE UP: Ngaiire came to Lismore as a 16-year-old from Papua New Guinea, before moving to Sydney to develop her music career.
ON THE UP: Ngaiire came to Lismore as a 16-year-old from Papua New Guinea, before moving to Sydney to develop her music career.

CONTEMPORARY take on the '80s synth pop hit Broken Wings by Mr Mister is the latest single by former Lismore-based soul singer Ngaiire.

Collaborating with composer and producer Nick Wales, the song is lifted from a new Australian feature film called Around The Block.

Wales composed most of the original music for the score and Ngaiire said the two originally planned to write something together for the film, but director Sarah Spillane had her heart set on using Broken Wings.

"It's actually a really good song. It was the '80s and nobody makes music like that anymore," she said.

To get a feel for what the director wanted, Ngaiire and Wales watched a few scenes before heading to the studio. But she still hadn't seen how it had been used in the film.

"I've either been away or on tour every time there's been a screening," she said.

Ngaiire's travels included her first foray to the UK where she and keyboard player Jack Britten had a couple of gigs at the Glastonbury festival and a show at Ronnie Scott's, a famous jazz club in London.

"It actually went much better than I expected," she said.

"It was just me and Jack with a bunch of samples trying to replicate what we do with the band.

"During the sound check there was no one there and I started to freak-out that we'd travelled halfway around the world to play to no one.

"But as soon as we went on, the tent was packed with close to 1000 people. It was such a surprise, but I guess that's the power of Facebook because nobody (there) knows who I am."

It's been just over a year since Ngaiire released her highly acclaimed debut album Lamentations and she is
working on the follow-up with producer Paul Mac.

"I've known Paul for many years, since I was a teenager and we've always worked on his stuff.

"So that's been interesting. He's seen me grow as an artist and as a person and is getting used to me as an adult and my opinions and the way I like to do things.

"I think it will be a balance of his pop mentality and my aesthetic which is a bit off-kilter and crazy."

She hoped to have a single out before the end of the year and be ready to tour through the summer.
Ngaiire, who attended Kadina High School before studying at the Queensland Conservatorium, returned to Lismore in 2004 after making a name for herself in the second season of Australian Idol.

"That was an exciting time for me. I'd just finished uni and wanted to play some real gigs," she said.

"I played the Beach Hotel with my first band. There was a good creative energy and a lot of great musos came out of that (SCU music) course who were into the same soul music that I was into.

"It gave me a foundation for where I wanted to go."



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