After twenty-two years at the helm of New Zealand’s most loved rock band, Shihad frontman Jon Toogood has built up a treasure trove of musical connections. Lucky for us they have now collided, resulting in one hell of a project. After a couple of years “collecting musical ideas” the multi instrumentalist has become The Adults, a celebration of his work with some of New Zealand’s brightest talents and an iconic Kiwi album in-the-making.
Haja is the band’s sophomore release, and is already impressing critics with Metro calling the album “one of the most distinctive releases to have come out of NZ this year”, and The Listener describing it as “a powerful, uplifting album that skilfully mixes its African roots with soulful, urban contemporary Kiwi sounds”
After releasing an album with Shihad in 2014, Jon Toogood began to search for ideas for the second chapter in the critically acclaimed Adults journey, eventually gathering inspiration from his wedding in Khartoum, Sudan and the traditional music, Aghani-Al-Banat, performed as part of the ceremony.
Aghani-Al-Banat literally translates to ‘girls music’ and is one of the only aspects of Sudanese music that deals exclusively with women, their lives and their issues. After completing a recording session in Khartoum with an all-female group of musicians, Jon bought the recordings home to begin structuring an album around them, inviting co-producer Devin Abrams (Pacific Heights/Shapeshifter) to help shape the sound of what would become Haja.
Much like the first Adults album, Haja features an exciting cast of collaborators, including upcoming New Zealand artists Chelsea Jade, Estère, JessB, Miloux, and Raiza Biza, along with the award-winning Aaradhna and recent breakthrough artist Kings.