From his critically acclaimed 2017 EP ‘The Grapefruit Skies’, the world quickly learned the name Te Karehana Gardiner-Toi, known widely as TEEKS. Those bright opening bars of ‘If Only’ to the gut-wrenching lines of ‘Never Be Apart’ have found a permanent place in the consciousness of Kiwis; conveying a sense of “home” for New Zealanders wherever they are in the world.
By 2019, TEEKS had captivated the industry’s imagination as his towering potential came into focus. With a songbook about love and loss, the celebrated Māori artist was nominated for the 2017 Taite Music Prize, a Silver Scroll songwriting award, and won him the prestigious ‘Best Māori Artist’ award at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards, along with countless fans at home, Australia and the United Kingdom.
What really sealed the deal was his concerts, where an ostensible initial shyness quickly gave way to a rare level of vulnerability. Speaking of TEEKS’ momentous, sold-out headliner show at Auckland’s Town Hall, backed by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, the New Zealand Listener proclaimed his performance had the “emotional punch as, say, Adele’s version of ‘Someone Like You’ at the Brits in 2011.”
Following ‘The Grapefruit Skies’, TEEKS returned to the studio for an introspective period of hard-won personal and artistic growth. He found solace in a complete surrender to emotion, the rejection of colonized masculinity, and the duality of Te Ao Māori: the worldview of his indigenous ancestors. A Māori artist who is deeply proud of his Māoritanga, TEEKS leads from a Māori worldview which is integral to his work ethic and worldly output.
Arriving at 2021, TEEKS released his long-awaited debut album ‘Something To Feel’ in April, which released at #1 on the NZ Album chart, receiving wide critical acclaim at home and abroad.
Written and produced by TEEKS with acclaimed producer and engineer Simon Gooding, ‘Something To Feel’ is deliberate and bold in its purpose. Unveiled in 12 elegant songs about love, self-knowledge and emotional vulnerability, TEEKS unveiled an album that points to the ways forward, proving there is a way to step up and out of the past, leaving hurt behind, and embracing something new.
‘Something To Feel’ is an album of deep emotion, showcasing the artist’s connection to family, heritage and his home country through the lens of Te Ao Māori. Cast from the most isolated corner of the earth – a private universe away – TEEKS shares a songbook destined to connect the world.
The album’s release followed a sold-out tour of New Zealand, ‘The Invitation Tour’, which signaled demand for larger venues. In June 2021, TEEKS embarks on his largest headlining tour yet. TEEKS is due to perform to a sold-out audience at Auckland’s iconic Civic Theatre along with sold-out shows in Wellington and Christchurch on board the six-date ‘Something To Feel’ New Zealand tour.
“New Zealand’s soulful singer to know” – Vogue
“poised to become New Zealand’s next international superstar” – North & South