Two minutes with: Bic Runga

by Listener Archive / 29 November, 2012
New Zealand’s favourite songstress has a baby on the way, and a new album to celebrate.
Bic Runga

Someone recently noted in the Herald that you’ve looked as if you’re 20 for about 20 years. What’s your secret?
I don’t really drink that much. But it’s all catching up on me now – I’m only one bad sleep away from looking pretty wretched! Being Asian helps, too. My father fought in Vietnam for the NZ Army and when he was in Malaysia he met my mother who was a singer, and they fell in love and got married.

It was an all-female line-up in the pop category at this year’s Vodafone music awards. Coincidence or trend?
I don’t really know, but it’s wonderful. There are a lot of female solo artists and I think it’s a great thing. Back when I was starting out, it was quite uncommon. There’s a real confidence around the young female singer-songwriters coming up. Every generation seems to be more confident than the last.

Does your son, Joseph, know you’re a famous singer?
He’s five now and I guess a lot of it happened before he was born, but he gets wind of it now and then. He has been to one of my shows. He was only four and he just kept walking around the audience saying, “That’s my mother.”

How do you manage the fact that your partner is also your producer?
It’s quite an intense relationship. We’ve just come off the road from a month in the UK and America and Europe. He plays in my band and I play in his band, Opossum. We have a lot of respect for each other – I’ve never met anyone who’s quite as passionate about music in the same way I am. When we get sick of each other, we fight, but I attribute most rattiness these days to being tired, which comes from being a mother.

What’s the lyric that you’re most proud of?
The song I’m most recently proud of is Everything is Beautiful and New. That’s about seeing the world through new eyes once you become a parent. I’m actually proud of the whole song; it reads like a poem. It was kind of based on a James K Baxter poem, The Seagull.

If you couldn’t be a musician, what would you be?
I always think about that. I was reading my old school yearbook and there was an interview in there saying I wanted to be a poet and a painter and a musician – kind of overconfident and ambitious! Music just hijacked my time and I forgot about poetry and art, but they were always equally important. I didn’t get into art school, so that’s why I started taking music more seriously.

What’s the future of the music industry in the digital age?
It’s harder to be a musician now. It’s very competitive and everyone can – and does – do it. You don’t need a lot of money. I do miss the old days when you got a recording budget and went into a big studio. Now budgets are smaller. What it means to me is that you have to play live – that’s more important than ever – and you have to write really good songs. You still can’t argue with a good song.

What’s your favourite foreign city?
In some ways it’s London. It’s still a great place to visit, and a lot of my best friends moved over there. I lived in Paris for a little while and that’s still really wonderful. And I quite like Shanghai, too, for its oldness and its newness. I think I’m always in a state of wanting to move overseas, but my son’s in school now and I’ve got a baby girl on the way. She’s due in March.

Do you see much of your sisters these days?
I’m really close to my sisters and I see them a lot. We all live in Auckland, and they’re still my best friends.

What’s your favourite stretch of road?
The Catlins. I’ve only done it twice, but it’s pretty special.

Bic Runga’s first greatest hits collection, Anthology (Sony Music), is available now.
MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage


Jane Goodall: We can live in harmony with nature
76836 2017-07-25 00:00:00Z Profiles

Jane Goodall: We can live in harmony with nature

by Sally Blundell

A world in which humans live in harmony with nature is still possible, says veteran environmental campaigner Jane Goodall.

Read more
Film festival 2017: David Larsen on the highlights (and lowlights) so far
76887 2017-07-25 00:00:00Z Movies

Film festival 2017: David Larsen on the highlights…

by David Larsen

The New Zealand International Film Festival is back for another year and Metro's David Larsen is in his happy place.

Read more
Richard Dawkins' truth, science and tediousness
76845 2017-07-25 00:00:00Z Books

Richard Dawkins' truth, science and tediousness

by Danyl McLauchlan

Richard Dawkins’ profound admiration for himself comes through loud and clear – with footnotes.

Read more
As anti-vaccination numbers rise, is it a case of herd stupidity, not immunity?
75047 2017-07-25 00:00:00Z Health

As anti-vaccination numbers rise, is it a case of …

by Sarah Lang

It’s astonishing just how many well-educated, presumably semi-intelligent New Zealanders subscribe to and try to spread this kind of nonsense.

Read more
The dreaded autocorrect disaster
76840 2017-07-25 00:00:00Z Life in NZ

The dreaded autocorrect disaster

by Joanne Black

Autocorrect may hide your texting and typing bloopers, but it won’t stop your blushes.

Read more
Retailers say competition laws block charge on plastic bags
76850 2017-07-24 16:14:42Z Environment

Retailers say competition laws block charge on pla…

by RNZ

1.5 billion plastic bags are used here each year and on average it takes just 12 minutes before a bag enters the waste stream.

Read more
Crossword 1037 answers and explanations
6 reasons your next family holiday should be in Taranaki
76777 2017-07-24 08:32:07Z Travel

6 reasons your next family holiday should be in Ta…

by Venture Taranaki

How to holiday like a local in the Naki.

Read more