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Spreading the words . . Timaru rap group Southern Future, comprising (clockwise from back left) Jaykob Reid, Zak Barnard, Shade Darroch and Hami Henry, has released four singles so far, including Elemental, which was released on Monday. PHOTO: HELEN HOLT

by Helen Holt

Four Timaru freezing workers are aiming to rap their way to the big time.

Southern Future, made up of Hami Henry, Zak Barnard, Jaykob Reid and Shade Darroch, describe themselves as a family of brothers.

The men have individually been rapping for most of their lives, and grew up listening to hip-hop and reggae.

They have released four singles so far, including Elemental, released on Monday.

They have known each other for several years, and started rapping together last year.

They decided in July to make a go of it, by starting a Spotify account and social media.

Their Facebook page has 715 followers and on Spotify they have 835 monthly listeners.

Henry said writing the material was a collaborative process.

“Not much has come out [from us] that wasn’t contributed by all of us.

“I tried making music for a long time, but I decided I can’t do the whole thing by myself.

“They [the other band members] provide the energy and the creativity that I can’t do by myself.”

“Hami has more experience,” Reid said.

“We do the lyrics and then he masters it.

“He puts it all together.”

Sargent Major was released earlier this month written over 12 hours, but the group sat on it for a while to make sure it was just right.

“The hook came almost straight away.

“We were up until about midnight writing it,” Reid said.

“We sat on it for ages, getting it as crisp as we could before we released it.”

The recording was mastered by Jordan Sanders, of the United States, and the video was edited by Australian Sean Clark.

Henry said the money they paid was worth it.

The single helped them gain popularity, including engagement from Timaru musician Nate Cash.

They were pleased with the positive response on social media, Henry said.

“We have followers up and down the country, and people you wouldn’t expect people of all ages, people in Hastings and Invercargill.

“It feels like we have almost the whole of New Zealand covered.”

They were still getting used to being recognised around Timaru, Henry said.

“It’s weird getting fanned by young fellas.

“They’re all nice people be recognised,” he said.

The group’s big aim was to make it on to radio, and play at festivals, Henry said.

They hoped to get some local gigs once Covid-19 restrictions were eased.

“We’re hopeful.

“We’ll keep putting our all in, to show New Zealand what we can do.”