Tiki Taane says the past two years have been the best of his life.

Since leaving Salmonella Dub after his final stage appearance on New Year's Eve 2006/07, his solo career has sky-rocketed.

His debut album, Past, Present and Future released through his company Tikidub Productions scooped the Amplifier Awards top album for 2007.

Taane's remix album Flux hits the streets on July 6, and features remixes from some of his favourite producers.

Christchurch-born Taane is also about to hit the road again.

Taane has toured New Zealand solo before, but he's really looking forward to his extensive upcoming tour, which kicks off in Kaitaia on July 9, and finishes in Whakatane on September 5.

"It's awesome. I'm going to places that I haven't played before as a solo artist, some of the smaller towns like Kaitaia, Westport, Ashburton and Whakatane, which a lot of bands don't go to.

"I've got a really kick arse band, who have been with me since I first left Salmonella Dub.

"But some of these venues can't really cater for the full band set up. So I'm breaking it down with just me on the acoustic guitar and my DJ so we can fit into some of these smaller venues which will be cool.

"On this tour, there are only two dates when I'm doing the full band, in Dunedin and Wanaka,' Taane said.

Waiuku and Wellington have already sold out and new dates are being added.

"On this tour, I start with about an hour of acoustic stuff at the start, including Always on my Mind, of course, and a few other jams that haven't been released yet.

"Then there's some old Salmonella Dub stuff that I wrote. Just party tunes really, to get the crowd singing and it's still really intimate, but not too full-on or crazy.

"I find that really sets the tone for the rest of the night and it becomes quite personal. Then my DJ gets up which is when we hit the real heavy stuff, turn things up and get pretty crazy.

"It's definitely high energy, dynamic, very personal, intimate and lots of fun. I just love doing this stuff and watching the crowd go nuts, which is great."

Taane said there was a lot of new material that he would be trying out.

"It's a really cool experimental time, but of course I do a lot of the stuff I've done already."

Taane's dad and Shapeshifter vocalist P Digs will be doing vocals on stage with him .

Despite touring around the world with Salmonella Dub for several years, Taane still loves life on the road.

"I'm constantly on the road. I just got back from Europe and I just love it, it's so much fun.

"We went to Holland first, then France, then England. The shows in England were pretty much full of ex-pats and Australians, or people from the UK who have been over to New Zealand and know the music," Taane said.

He toured Europe with Shapeshifter, and was still their permanent soundman.

But he said he was not keen to tour solo in Europe, preferring to stay closer to home.

Taane has his fingers in many pies, working alongside some of New Zealand's top acts as a singer, songwriter, MC, musician, composer, studio producer and live soundman.

"I'm lucky enough to have my hands in all those different areas.

"I enjoy being able to play live, either as a band, or as a DJ or an MC, and then be in the studio producing my own records or for other people, or behind the scenes mixing bands live. It's all really cool.

"But to be honest, nothing beats being on stage at that classic moment where everything's going nuts. That's the best part. It's the best thing in the world," Taane said.

Taane said leaving Salmonella Dub to become a solo artist was "quite a liberating thing, but at the same time it's very scary.

"All of a sudden, you can't hide behind anything. But the past two years have probably been the most amazing two years of my life."

Taane is kept constantly busy. He is involved with the final mix of Shapeshifter's next album, and will be producing Shihad frontman Jon Toogood's solo album.

That's alongside his own solo projects, remixing for other acts, and making music for adverts.

He is also juggling everything with his other role as a new dad.

"My son Charlie is only three-and-a-half months old. So he's really given me a lot of inspiration, but in a different way. I've got to do the best I can to give him the best life.

"When I first became a dad I was a little freaked out. I thought maybe I shouldn't be doing this music thing any more. All of as sudden I was faced with all these questions.

"Should I be making music? Should I get a normal job?

"But holding him in my arms and seeing him and being with him has made me realise I'm just going to go even more harder into this music thing. This is what I do and hopefully he'll get some of that inspiration from me.

"As soon as he's old enough to shake a tambourine he'll be up on stage."

After his New Zealand tour finishes, Taane will be heading to Australia with Shapeshifter, then back to New Zealand for some more solo shows, then back to Australia with his own tour.

He's also focusing on getting his second album finished and out by next year or 2011.

- NZPA