It’s been four years since we last had Rei in the studio – around the release of his 2019 album The Bridge. And he’s dropped an album a year since then – Hoea (2020), Enjoy The Ride (2021), and Ariki (2022), and while I haven’t seen him live in a few years, it’s easy to see via his videos how he keeps stepping up his game.
Rei says he’s excited to get back into things post pandemic. “Last year was still like kind of a transition. People were still worried about things getting cancelled, and then we had quite a rough summer this with the weather cancelling heaps of events. I wasn't affected too badly by that, but she's been trying times for the Aotearoa music industry.”
In spite of rising costs, Rei has decided to make this tour bigger than ever to keep the “upward trajectory”. His first headline tour since 2019’s The Bridge tour sees him play more shows in bigger venues, with some also including dancers that previously have only made an appearance at festival shows.
“I feel that's it's not too fair to the audience because they're still paying to see me perform, so they should get the best show that I can offer. So yeah, the dancers are involved in Wellington, Christchurch, and Auckland and I’ve been working on some cool routines with that. And, slowly building up my visual content as well. I've got dope visuals that goes along with the whole set when there's screens projectors available.