Fresh Talent: Roger Greenaway
Author: Ben Christie
Roger Greenaway decided he wanted to be a musician half-way through his fifth form year at school. He wanted to start studying music straight away but he wasn't allowed to. So he left.
Greenaway used to practice on the local church piano in Taupo until his parents bought one and put it in the shed. There he would spend six hours a day practising. He's now a classically trained pianist to Grade 6 and classical music is still among his diverse tastes and influences.
"I listen to Mozart and Beethoven as well as 1950s and '60s rock, anything with melody," says Roger.
'Wayt', is the name of his debut album and one of the songs. It came to him while he was hitchhiking up the top of the North Island, and that word encompasses a lot for Greenaway. The wait to get the album finished, the weight he's invested in it, and the way he wants to develop and take his music.
From the opening latin horns on Peace Creature, it's a quirky collection of originals with string arrangements, Beatle-esque melodies and wobble synths. The first version of the album was originally recorded with Mike Gibson in Wellington in 2001.
"That's where I did the original recording of it and took it up to that TV show 'Get Your Act Out'. I did an audition for that and that's how I met Rikki (Morris)."
Morris helped Greenaway bring the parts of the album together at his (The Bus) studio in Devonport. Greenaway recorded a lot of the guitar out at Piha in his brother's laundry with a view overlooking the beach.
He is amazed and thankful for the huge amount of people who helped with the album. It was produced by Morris and Justin Harwood (Luna/The Chills) and features Barrett Martin (Tuatara/The Screaming Trees), Debbie Harwood (When the Cat's Away) and Eddie Rayner (Split Enz). Guitarist John Kempt also plays on the album and through contacts and favours got the album mastered by Matthew Murman in Arizona.
Greenaway is very happy with the final sound.
"It just took the songs to a whole new level."
His first single Wise has been played on bFM and Channel Z and the video is being screened. 'Wayt' is out on Sunshine Records and distributed by Global Routes.