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MY NEIGHBOURHOOD | Māngere-Otāhuhu Community Visual EP

Until we hear the stories we cannot make the connections

By bringing together musicians, songwriters and lyricists in the Mangere-Otahuhu community, hip-hop producer Anonymouz (Noma Sio-Salapu) is giving them a voice on a platform they'd never imagine.

The initiative, funded by the Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board, will eventually become an album and it aims to give the community a way to express themselves and also show them a side of their hood they might not have known.

Matthew Faiumu Salapu goes by 'Anonymouz' in the creative world. He works from his home studio and says he has only slept for "three hours a day in the last three weeks".

Following a string of incidents recently, the Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board chairperson Lydia Sosene hopes this album will connect with youth and give them pride in their suburb. 

"It is a good idea for people in the community to talk about life through a different medium, to reach people of different ages."

Anonymouz contacted artists via community centres, schools and social media and he then took them around the neighbourhood to help them understand the history and ways of the area.

Initially, only four rappers were interested, but that changed to forty musicians from a variety of  musical and cultural backgrounds. They recorded a music video which quickly went viral .

Taking the unconventional approach, Salapu left it up to the artists to decide their lyrics and genre.

"I'm here to facilitate it. When similar themes pop up, I club them together."

The father of three is born and raised in Mangere and grew up learning classical piano and that skill is reflected in this album.

"I'm a big fan of Dr Dre ... how he layers his vocals - so sonically, that will be an influence on this work."

"But local artists have [also] influenced me and the south Auckland history of music is always in my work".

The album will be released on September 30 at the Mangere Town Centre Courtyard (opposite the Mangere Arts Centre) from 7-9pm.

Thanks to