The brothers of Adeaze tell Scott Kara why it took seven years to follow up their debut album.
You have to admire the sweet-as attitude of Nainz and Viiz Tupa'i of Adeaze. It's been seven years since the soul brothers' big-selling debut album came out and with songs like Getting Stronger and Bee Gees cover How Deep Is Your Love, they had built up good momentum and were on the verge of big things.
Mariah Carey even sampled the duo's debut single, A Life With You, for her song Your Girl.
However, since 2007 or so they've kept a low profile.
But lounging in the couches of their record company, Universal, they laugh and joke about what they've been up to and why it's taken so long to release the follow-up. Talk about at-ease.
"We started having kids," smiles Nainz, the older of the brothers.
"We were taught by our parents that if you're going to have kids, then you've got to raise them," he laughs.
"We're your typical blokes," adds Viiz with a grin. "You know we can't multi-task very well so we've got to do one thing at a time."
"And," continues Nainz, "we had no doubt we were going to pop out another album, we just didn't think it would take seven years."
They never stopped playing music, and they continued to write songs and perform both here and overseas, but family came first.
Another contributing factor to taking a hiatus-of-sorts came when their first record company Dawn Raid went into liquidation in 2007. Adeaze play it down as a big hindrance to their blossoming career because they were happy to take the offer of being released from their contracts - and it was then they decided to take a break.
"Maybe in industry terms it was interrupted," says Nainz.
"But we took it as a blessing in disguise," says his brother.
And now that the kids are "old enough to mow the lawns" - well, nearly - they are back into making music, and the result is second album Rise And Shine which came out this week. It's not that much of a departure from debut Always and For Real, with its smooth mix of singer-songwriter soul-meets-R&B with a touch of Island reggae chink to the songs. And the brothers are the first to admit that at the core of their songwriting is simplicity and purity.
"We weren't taught how to write songs. But it's pretty simple, you should be able to get it as soon as you hear it. Basically, we just write what we feel," says Nainz.
There is also a cute romantic side to tracks like Got My Girl For Life and It Ain't Over.
"Oh that must be the wives' influence [coming through]," says Nainz.
"Or those Boyz II Men years," says Viiz.
Also on the album are two covers - a moochy and chilled version of Curtis Mayfield's So In Love and Ardijah's Watching U - and Paradise, a collaborative song with their "wish list" of local artists including Che Fu, OpShop's Jason Kerrison, Te Awanui Reeder of Nesian Mystik, and Vince Harder.
"We wrote down who we wanted and we just thought we'll see if anyone jumps on, and if not we'll sing it ourselves," remembers Viiz.
"And then as soon as they sent it out, they all came back wanting to do it. Even Don McGlashan," he beams.
That's always been the thing about Adeaze, they have moved seamlessly between many different music worlds, be it the hip-hop dominated sphere of Dawn Raid or the pop charts, as well as gaining respect from songwriters like Kerrison and McGlashan.
"We've always appreciated different sorts of music, and growing up we weren't fortunate enough to buy tapes, so there was just one radio in the house and we listened to that," says Viiz. So everything from songs like Extreme's More Than Words and Mr Big's cheesy rock hit To Be With You, through to reggae and R&B, as well as gospel and Samoan songs ("deep love songs") that they grew up listening to feeds into the music they make now.
"Our music is an influence of all of those squashed together," says Nainz.
"Often it didn't have to do with a genre of music, it was just a simple melody and hearing a melody in a rock song, that's what my ears were attracted to.
"We liked to get really deep and close with music and those melodies really spoke to us and helped us write songs. We were just fortunate to be able to get our own sound out of it."
Who: Adeaze, made up of New Zealand-born Samoan brothers Feagaigafou and Logovii Tupa'i (aka Nainz and Viiz).
What: New album, Rise and Shine, out now, the follow up to debut Always and For Real (2004) Nainz and Viiz say their songs reflect what they feel.