Maitreya: Close To Home
By Martyn Pepperell
Maitreya aka Jamie Greenslade was once in Dark Tower, and as revealed in the last issue of NZM, he took his baggy trousers to New York. There he started working for Roc-a-fella Records, hooked up with The Game's tour DJ, started knocking out mix CDs and rocking open mic spots all over Harlem. Looking for the means to make his own album he hooked onto innovative music promotion website Sellaband.com early on through which he managed to fundraise US$50,000 via online fan contributions. A long route but he has come up trumps with 'Close to Home', a musically divergent, lyrically inventive and heartfelt exploration of Aotearoa-centred hip hop, along with reggae and drum 'n bass undertones. Production by The Silence (with Maitreya co-producing) along with the attention of Universal Mastering Studios in New York, has given the album a clean, clear, loud and punchy sound. Maitreya can rap fluently in Te Reo, and Waitaha sees him exploring a musical form I would describe as haka-step. Some interesting music, this album has definite appeal for fans of local leftfield hip hop.