Canadian funk fusion band MAGIC! is about to receive a whole lot of love from reggae fans around the nation as they gear up for the coveted One Love festival, this weekend at Tauranga Domain.
The band joins the line-up of more than 20 international acts including Shaggy, J BOOG, Common Kings and FIJI, alongside home-grown favourites Spawnbreezie, House of Shem, 1814 and Sons of Zion.
With just days until the festival kicks off, SunLive managed to spare a moment with lead singer Nasri Atweh ahead of the show. He says the festival was an opportunity not to be missed.
“We never pass up an opportunity, especially not one which allows us to be around a crowd of this type of music lovers.
“We’re honoured to be even considered to be a part of the laid-back reggae world. This was never our intention but it’s amazing, it’s an energy you can’t get anywhere else. We always have fun during reggae festivals.”
He says a special set is planned for One Love crowds.
“Up until now our main focus has been working on our third album and getting our music to be the best it can be for the next round of tours.
“All of our albums are very musically scattered and we’re okay with that. This album however, compared to the other albums has a real lyrical through-line, exposing different situations of being domesticated.
“I think lyrically I’ve managed to touch upon really important things and I’m constantly tweaking the lyrics to get it to be as honest as it can be, so I feel this album has something special to it.
“We are putting out the first single called Kiss Me in February and the album will come out around May.
“At the moment we will only be performing one song from the new album at One Love but if a fan comes up to me at the show and says ‘I want to hear a new song’, I will play it off my phone.”
The festival marks the band’s second visit to the country.
“We came to New Zealand when Rude first went to number one so we’re really excited to be coming back.
“The guys arrive the day before the festival and I’m going to Australia to meet with our Sony Music team so I’m here three days early. After the festival I actually have to head back to LA but the guys are staying for another week.
“I’m not sure what they will be getting up to while they are here but I’m sure it’ll be something near the water.
“Hearing you have a black sand beach is very exciting to us and we’re also excited about the vibes of the people in the Bay of Plenty.
“We don’t really get a chance to hang out with our fans that much, especially the ones so far away so don’t be shy. We want to have conversations with you, so come and talk with us let us know what you are doing in your lives.
“We think of ourselves as a band that are very normal, level-headed guys, we enjoy the company of people.”
He says Let Your Hair Down is one of the band’s stage favourites.
“It’s one of those songs we can just kick back and one where crowds aren’t watching us, they’re just enjoying the music.
“It’s true in some of our performances I actually ask our crowd to watch me, this is if I’m going to do something, but this song I want people to just listen to it and feel it.
“It’s got a great guitar solo and groove, you see all the couples come out with this song. Everyone in New Zealand seems to have a partner, that’s what my drummer said to me, everyone’s got a better half. For this song we want you to grab your special person and just take in the scenery.”
See MAGIC! this weekend at One Love, held over two separate days at the Tauranga Domain on Saturday January 27 and Sunday January 28.