MARA TK, the golden voiced, Maori-Scottish world-wandering citizen of Aotearoa (New Zealand) has announced his debut solo album ‘Bad Meditation’ will be released on May 7.
Stepping out on his own, Mara TK is the former frontman of the acclaimed Kiwi future soul trio Electric Wire Hustle.
Written and produced by Mara himself, ‘Bad Meditation’ is his 13 track opus, a deeply personal account of heritage, love, loss and healing.
Today he shares the Double A-side singles ‘Highly Medicated’ and ‘Toroa/The Albatross’, the singles follow previous release ‘Met At The River’, which featured the vocals of Kenyan R&B singer and songwriter Xenia Manasseh.
On the melancholic lament ‘Highly Medicated’, Mara opens up about his journey to heal following the death of his grandfather, who was his link to traditional customs in Aotearoa.
Mara explains: “I tried everything to plug up the void: antidepressants, molly, acid, hiking, running, dancing, Ritalin, one-night stands, six-month stands, spending money on jackets, airfares for bad friends, and so on. Eventually I shut everyone out and I was finally alone.
“I takoto tūpāpaku au [translation: I was like the dead who cannot move]. I would put on videos of the old people here talking – interviews with my elders. They said ‘Love yourself, forgive yourself. This is where you start.’ and that’s been the best medication I’ve had so far”.
The B-side ‘Toroa / The Albatross’ was written in remembrance of the passive resistance movement of Parihaka – an early refugee camp established by the Māori during the Crown invasion of Taranaki in the 1800s.
An alumnus of Red Music Academy in Toronto, Mara TK’s work beyond Electric Wire Hustle has seen him collaborate with critically lauded names including Om’Mas Keith of Sa-Ra Creative Partners, Detroit producer and J Dilla collaborator Waajeed, and Steve Spacek.
Extra Soul Perception is a collaboration and community music platform that started life between the UK, Kenya and Uganda but is now continuing to grow and connect independent musicians worldwide.
Now with Mara TK added to the roster, Extra Soul Perception has released music by Lex Amor, K15, Maxwell Owin, Lynda Dawn, Hibotep, Karun, Labdi, Faizal Mostrixx and more.