Putting the CROSS in CROSSBREED
By Mataiva Robertson
Nineteen year old Siauala Nili of St Pauls Methodist Samoan Congregation Otara forms one half of the up-and-coming hip hop/R’n’B duo known as CROSSBREED. Siauala (aka GiantKilla) and Maurica Howard (aka Ryze) who is of Maori decent, use the influences of their different cultural backgrounds and upbringing as well as their surrounding environment to create a unique hip hop sound that carries a positive message for the youth of today.
Siauala was born and raised in the St Pauls Otara Methodist church and points to regular choir practices at church when growing up as a major contributor to forming a solid musical foundation on which he has gone on to build what seems set to be the beginnings of a successful music career.
Nineteen year old Siauala Nili of St Pauls Methodist
Samoan Congregation Otara forms one half of the
up-and-coming hip hop/R’n’B duo known as CROSSBREED.
It was during a community performing arts concert in 2004 (organised by older brother Saipele) that Siauala, Maurica and three others were identified and brought together to form a group. For various reasons the other three were unable to commit to the group leaving Siauala and Maurica to carry the CROSSBREED name into the future.
They have not looked back since, and have gone from strength to strength. One of Siauala’s biggest highlights to date was in 2007 when they travelled (along with over 30 support staff (e.g. DJ’s, sound technicians, make-up, costume etc) to Los Angeles to do a showcase for Universal Motown Records. Although a deal did not eventuate, Siauala said it was invaluable experience for them and gave them the opportunity to do some awesome networking.
Since then their music has received radio air time and also featured in national hip hop magazine “Back 2 Basics” receiving great reviews from the likes of the renowned DJ Sir-vere. They have been steadily working on their debut album “Flow Motion” which is set to be released later this year. On top of all that they’ve also been involved in the making of a NZ feature film musical which is also set to be released on the big screen in Auckland later this year.
Despite being so busy with his musical career, Siauala remains very active in his church where he is currently co-leader of the tupulagatalavou (youth) group. His faith remains a key driver in his goal to influence others through music – to be a role model for the youth, to make an impact on young people around New Zealand, around the world. Through his music and the opportunities it brings he hopes to make an even bigger impact for God.
Siauala summed it nicely when he told me that as Christians “we are in the world, but we are not of it.” We wish Siauala all the best. May God continue to bless you and use you for His glory.