The rising Rotorua star who was hand-picked to shine at the Tamaki Herenga Waka Festival in 2016 is now enjoying the success of her first single.

Hinerongonui Kingi, Hi-nés', first single Never Get Me Back received number one overall on Google Play, number two on iTunes and was announced as was announced in the top five most streamed songs by NZ On Air last month. The video has been watched more than 10,000 times on YouTube and about 63,000 times on Facebook.

Kingi said she had been on a personal journey between the Tamaki Herenga Waka Festival and the release of the single.

"I had time to look at how my music was going to branch out and grow.

"The best thing I thought would be to throw myself in a completely different direction."

She worked with New Zealand R&B singer, songwriter and producer Pieter T and TY (from Smashproof) to change up her style.


"I come from a background of kapa haka and singing in a live band for 10 years," she said.

Hinerongonui Kingi, Hi-nes, (centre) in the music video for her new single Never Get Me Back. Photo/Supplied
Hinerongonui Kingi, Hi-nes, (centre) in the music video for her new single Never Get Me Back. Photo/Supplied

Never Get Me Back

was writtento empower women, she said.

When she went to the studio to record she had another song in mind.

"But the boys came through with other options to kick start my career and I knew to just go with it.

"Recording was really kicked back and when Pieter showed me some of the music he thought I may like I knew that Never Get Me Back was the one."

She said only the first two lines were written at that point but the music itself drew her in.

"It's an empowering song for women who have experienced heartbreak.


"It's a message to have fun with your friends and not get too down in the dumps, a fun vibe song."

She said the aim was for people to sing along and bring their own "inner goddess out".

The video for the song, which features Krisy Erin, was shot at Rotorua's Prince's Gate Hotel.

"I was looking around a few different locations and I knew as soon as I saw the room at Prince's Gate it was the one I wanted to use.

"They were very easy to work with and were more than happy to support me in my musical endeavours and allow me to film there."

She said she'd known she was going to be a performer from the age of 4 and was currently working on a theatre play called Kororāreka - The Ballad of Maggie Flynn which will be touring the North Island until mid-September.

"After that, we will be going to straight into rehearsals with dancers for my second video.

"The song, Cold Hearted, has already been recorded and will be available for presale on October 21 and officially on sale October 28."