Kaitaia, where she grew up, hasn't seen much of Carla Werner over the last 30-odd years, but now she's coming home briefly with N8VSOUL to play the Collard Tavern on Saturday night.
The show is part of the band's first New Zealand tour, to promote the first of three EPs in 2020.
Carla, N8VSOUL singer, songwriter and producer, left NZ after winning TVNZ's nationwide talent show Telequest in 1987, and was signed some years later by Columbia Records, Sony Music, out of New York in 2002.
Her debut album, Departure, produced by Ken Nelson (Coldplay's Parachutes), received critical acclaim and numerous comparisons to the late Jeff Buckley, followed by extensive touring/supports in the US and Europe with the likes of Robert Plant, Beyonce, Leonard Cohen, Damian Rice, Jayhawks & the Pretenders (on their New Zealand tour in 2005), but it was the massive trance/EDM track Southern Sun with DJ Paul Oakenfold that scored Werner global cred as a singer/songwriter when it reached No1 on the UK and European club charts.
After 20 years in the US and more than 30 years in the music industry, she has returned to New Zealand with an independent project in collaboration with Californian bassist Alison Wünderland.
The single One To Ten, mixed by Justin Stanley (Beck/Prince), mastered by Gearbox Records (UK) and released globally in August, is billed as a haunting and empowering expression of optimism in the face of the world's most critical political, cultural and environmental changes.
The entire EP follows suit, with Werner's ethereal vocal melodies pulled into an orbit of deep bass-laden tracks, driven by beats, littered with dub samples and tribal instrumentation.
N8VSOUL was introduced in Los Angeles in 2015, staging their first show that year at Reggae on the Mountain, in Southern California joining forces with now regular drummer Rock Deadrick (Ziggy Marley) and keyboards/horn virtuoso John McKnight (Fishbone). They have gone on to support and worked closely with reggae giants such as Soul Syndicate, Pato Banton and Sly & Robbie.