Entertainer Russell Harrison says music to him is like breathing - he's got to do it.

So the Rotorua-based personality is putting all his effort into his music career, with the first step releasing a single.

The song, 2 Much, 2 Little, 2 Late (feat. Tuakoi), a remake of the 1978 hit, will officially be released on Friday on iTunes, Spotify and Google Play.

He's a familiar face in New Zealand as a result of hosting Lotto on TV for 11 years. But he said the time had come to focus on music - his real passion.

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"It's like breathing for me being on stage now. It's a natural extension of who I am now. It's gone further than love. If I am not performing, I am not breathing."

Harrison launched the single three weeks ago on YouTube and already it had nearly 13,000 views and 20,000 hits on his Facebook page.

It's a song that's particularly special to Harrison because it was on a classic hits tape he and his siblings would play in the back of his parents' car on their trips to Northland.

"We used to play that Solid Gold tape over and over again for six hours ... We used to rewind it with a pencil so we didn't waste the tape deck's batteries."

It just reminds me of happy times with my parents. That's the power of that song.

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With help from Nesian Mystik's producer Dave Atai Harrison and Wellington-based singer Tuakoi have put a fresh and modern spin on the song and accompanied it with a top quality video that features Rotorua scenes and actors - starring Rotorua district councillor Tania Tapsell and her friend Bryce Marsh.

"I had worked with Tania in Dancing with the Rotorua Stars and I have always thought she was very pretty so I approached her to get involved and she jumped at the opportunity."

He said she recruited Mr Marsh because it needed to be someone she felt comfortable with.

Russell Harrison's single cover.
Russell Harrison's single cover.

The video, made by Auckland's Hettig brothers of Westone Production, shows a love story gone wrong and weaves its way through some of Rotorua's most iconic spots, including the Lakefront and Eat Streat.

"It's easy to paint visual portraits when you live in such a beautiful community. Because I am a member of the community, I know the beauty of the place. Also because this is self-funded I had to figure out the smartest way of doing it without blowing the budget."

Russell Harrison loves Rotorua.
Russell Harrison loves Rotorua.

Harrison has previously supplemented his work singing, MCing events and doing television appearances with working in the education sector for Te Wananga o Aotearoa and more recently Nga Pumanawa e Waru.

However, now he was concentrating on music in between working for a United Kingdom agent who booked him on four different cruise ships to entertain guests throughout the South Pacific. Each month is visiting a different country doing what he loves.

"I'm pursuing a promise I made to myself to follow my first passion, which is music."

Where to buy the single:
iTunes - https://geo.itunes.apple.com/nz/album/id1225184292?at=1l3v9Tx&app=itunes
Spotify - http://open.spotify.com/album/6EwUbvYOf2byyuCr3RfKmZ
Google Play - https://play.google.com/store/music/album?id=Bfi2lsaqihh6rrgeefk6l232boy&tid=song-Tk7opeazjpdetv2krgli4fh5hzq

Russell Harrison's single:
- Title - 2 Much, 2 Little, 2 Late (feat. Tuakoi)
- When - Released this Friday
- Where - Spotify, Google Play, iTunes or view on YouTube