Performing as soul funk duo Triggerfish, the talented duo is fast establishing a solid international fan-base and proving to be a valuable export for Cook Islands music and talent.
On the back of a recent tour to Tahiti, Triggerfish has now taken the top spot on Tahitian radio station Tiare FM’s July Top 10 Chart Stoppers.
Its version of love song ‘I Raro I te Tumanu’ came in ahead of Stan Walker’s latest release ‘Aotearoa’. The remaining artists in the Top 10 came from Hawaii and the USA.
Newport, who is also a director of Motone Productions, said contemporary Cook Islands music is just as good as what is being produced overseas.
“Now having made number one in Tahiti, this is a really proud moment for Kura and I and Motone Productions.”
He said Cook Islands musicians need the same support that other industries receive.
“The music and entertainment industry is as viable as all the other industries in the Cook Islands but unfortunately it does not get much Government support and assistance like Tahiti and other nations around the world.”
Triggerfish could not have made such an impact in Tahiti without the support of Papeete-based entertainment company Infinaty, run by Vetea Ransbotyn, Newport said.
Happ and Newport have toured New Zealand several times in the past three years and broadened the tour circuit by hitting Tahiti last year and again this June.
They played to packed audiences every night and attracted plenty of attention from local artists.
The duo have now been invited to play in Australia this year as part of a roadshow by Cook Islands Tourism.
“This is progressive and shows that they are starting to understand the impact our contemporary music can have on tourism and promoting our country,” Newport said.