At the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards on November 17, Bic Runga will receive the NZ Herald Legacy Award, becoming the youngest ever inductee into the NZ Music Hall of Fame. Rather than taking a well-earned rest on her laurels, Bic will then release a new album (Close Your Eyes, out November 18) and, from late January, will perform throughout the country as part of the Winery Tour, continuing to create and perform the music that has seen her remain one of our most revered local artists.
Bic's music received acclaim early. In 1993, while at high school in Christchurch, she placed third in the Smoke Free Rockquest competition, performing in duo Love Soup. A Love Soup-era composition, You displays a songwriting talent well beyond her years.
Watch the video for You here:
By 1995, Bic had moved to Auckland and was signed to Sony Music. She had also taken up another role, as presenter on Kiwi music show Music Nation. In this debut episode she can be seen introducing videos from recent winners at the NZ Music Awards. The following year she would win the first of her own twenty Tuis.
See the debut episode of Music Nation here:
Drive was the song that launched Bic's career, quickly going top 10, and earning the then-20 year-old an APRA Silver Scroll Award before her debut album was even released.
Taken from her first album (also titled Drive), Sway was the first of Bic's singles to draw international attention, going top 10 in Australia, top 30 in Ireland, and charting in the UK. Soon she would also find herself undertaking extensive US touring, including a spot on the 1999 Lilith Fair festival circuit.
Watch the video for Sway here:
Touring life would provide the inspiration for Get Some Sleep, the lead single from Bic's second album Beautiful Collision. Released five years after her debut, high expectations were more than met, and the album remains her strongest-selling.
Watch the video for Get Some Sleep here:
Bic's third studio album Birds was released in 2005. Timed to coincide with the album, this Homegrown profile opens with lead single Winning Arrow, before going on to interview Runga about her musical family, her early success, and the challenges of 'second album syndrome'.
Watch Homegrown - Bic Runga here:
For her fourth album Belle (2011), Bic chose to work with a number of local musicians including brothers Kody and Ruban Nielson (The Mint Chicks, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Silicon). Kody became Belle's producer (and Bic's partner), and single Tiny Little Piece of My Heart was the first of their continued collaborations. Bic pays tribute to The Mint Chicks on her forthcoming album, covering their single Life Will Get Better Some Day.
Watch the video for Tiny Little Piece of My Heart here:
You can see more Bic Runga content here, in NZ On Screen's Spotlight collection.