Simply put, this is music at its most epic. Tami Neilson’s recent video ‘Kingmaker’ is both musically and visually stunning, a cinematic feast that will leave you breathless with its intensity. The tension and Neilson’s sonorous voice rise and soar with glorious drama as the song builds with layers of warm strings to its huge climax. The song is an anthem for women who are striving to succeed despite the barriers placed before them at home, at work, in the music industry and in wider society. It takes fearlessness, strength and resilience and all that is on show here, in a song through which Neilson speaks for women, who are represented by the dancers in the video.
Neilson says: “I wanted ‘Kingmaker’ to feel like a movie theme that plays as the opening credits unfold, so that the songs take the listener through the highs and lows of a story unfolding, more like a movie soundtrack than adhering to one genre or style. It felt so fitting to work with an incredible team of women on this video for a song of empowerment, led by Director Alyx Duncan and Producer Emma Mortimer. Alyx really poured her heart and soul into making ‘Kingmaker’ come to life with her incredible attention to detail and she suggested approaching the owner of the historic St James Theatre located in the heart of downtown Auckland, New Zealand. The once-grand theatre that had hosted Queen Elizabeth herself in 1963 is now crumbling and dilapidated, shuttered for years as work to renovate it came to a standstill. This created the perfect symbolism for ‘Kingmaker’ – a group of women, alive and powerful, rising from the ashes of the old colonial institutions that once excluded and oppressed them.”
This single is the opening song and title track from Neilson’s fifth album, which is out now. It’s a hugely powerful statement from the country-soul star who was born to do this. As a child, she performed with her parents and siblings in Canadian family band The Neilsons and the stories of her early experiences in music are incredible: held in Roy Orbison’s arms as a baby, opening for Johnny Cash as an eighteen-year-old and moving round the world to begin again in her adopted hometown of Aukland, New Zealand, where she has carved out a critically-acclaimed solo career. Sit back and absorb this.
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