Bic Runga plays songs from her new album, Beautiful Collision, on this edition of Morning Becomes Eclectic.
Being surrounded by music as a child, Bic started out on drums at age 11. Her mother was an opera singer in a Malysian nightclub in the 60's. Bic herself started singing for local jazz groups in her early teens. She was writing songs as early as 14, inspired also by English bands such as The Smiths. After picking up guitar and keyboards she began composing her own songs. Being born and raised in New Zealand, and away from what most consider the real music industry, Bic pursued her musical career with great intensity. "We're sort of isolated... we're a 12 hour flight from LA. You can't really get much done from New Zealand. You need to be present in America to be making music for America."
In light of her musical dream, Bic moved to Auckland in 1994. A year later, at the age of 19, her first single Drive was released under Sony, which soared into the top ten on New Zealand pop charts. In 1996 she achieved the Silver Scroll award, an award given for songwriting excellence. After touring in support of Neil and Tim Finn, she released the 1997 single Sway, another top ten hit. Later the same year, she self produced her first debut LP Drive, in less than 3 weeks and on a very low budget. Drive turned out to be the biggest selling record in New Zealand of all time by a New Zealand artist.
After the success of her first album, Runga spent over three years making Beautiful Collision. "It was indecision and paranoia I suppose, I just wanted to get it right and I tried to hard I think, and also setting myself the impossible task of self producing the second record, with all that pressure.." Runga spent two years living in New York and time in Los Angeles producing the album, which possesses a surprising cohesiveness, considering the large gap in time and locations. Neil Finn also provided backing vocals, piano and insight on the album.
Written by Eric Hasenfang