I don't listen to this song anymore. When this song comes on I'm like, 'Oh God, not this song.' It was the first band that I hooked on to as a kid, I was probably 7 or 8 years old, and I absolutely lost my mind. The Spice Girls knew their target audience and it was eight year old girls. I was Sporty Spice, so I had the Adidas snap pants and the platform shoes and it was a really uniting thing, which was a really special thing, to unite young girls and have them be able to share something. And that has lasted. I was at a party a few months ago and we were playing karaoke and this song came on and all the girls in the room - who would have been about 30 years old - we all lost our minds, singing every single lyric. All of us were like: "I was Sporty Spice!" "I was Scary Spice!" We were doing the dance moves, losing our minds, and all the guys in the room were just watching. They were just like, "Okay, this is not for us."
RIVER OF DREAMS
Billy Joel is my dad's favourite and he's my favourite too. I can see my dad singing this, I can see the smile on his face. It's such a beautiful song for me, but it's also a banger. It's my dream to take Dad to New York because I know that Billy Joel plays gigs in New York from time to time, but I think there's a ticking time bomb on that.
I'D RATHER BE IN LOVE
She's half-Asian, the same as I am. To see her, she's a young woman, she looks kind of similar to me. It was the first time I had ever, ever, ever seen someone who was half Asian on screen or anything in my life, and she was out there, she was doing something wonderful, she was doing exactly what I wanted to do and that kind of made me feel like if she can do it, you can do it too. I realised recently that that thing of being able to see yourself represented, there's something really special about seeing yourself, especially if you are in a minority. So Michelle Branch for me is really special. She's really, really, really special.
Fall Out Boy
It's such a banger, but what it represents for me is that after Michelle Branch came this phase for me where I was a little punk rocker. I moved on from writing nice singer songwriter songs to being in a little punk band. I look back and a lot of people around the world were emo kids, but I went to a private school. I was surrounded by very, very different types of people. So, again, I felt like I was a little rebel. Like, "F*** you, I'm smarter than you guys." For me, I feel like Fall Out Boy stood the test of time. They're also the least embarrassing band I put on this list.
IT'S MY LIFE
I was 19 and I wanted to go do my big OE so I went to London. I went on a Contiki tour right away, all around Europe. On Contiki, they give you a tour song and this was our song. Every morning we'd all pile into the bus, like 50 of us, 49 of whom were Australians and we'd drive off to a new city and it was a really incredible thing. This song would be blasted first thing in the morning. For me, now, it represents a part of my life where I had decided to do something that was a bit bold. I was quite young to be doing that. I had no safety net and I was saying yes to things and doing things that weren't available to me in New Zealand, so it really represents for me freedom and that you can do anything, that you can have a really magical fantastic life if you choose. Obviously there's a lot to be said for the privilege of being able to do that, but for me at the time it was just a really freeing thing.
- As told to Greg Bruce
The second season of Becky Kuek's animated children's series Tales of Nai Nai comes to TVNZ HeiHei from July 12