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Photo: Supplied
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"I love meeting people and listening to new music. I don’t know where I will end up but hopefully I’ll just be making music."

That’s what Nadia Reid said in 2009 after she won the Smokefree Award For Women’s Musicianship at the Otago finals of Smokefree Rockquest. Since then she’s released two critically-acclaimed albums, was a finalist in the most recent APRA Silver Scrolls as well as the Taite Music prize, and her latest album, Preservation, was named second best album of 2017 by MOJO magazine.

For someone who’s "saving folk music," according to Billboard magazine, the Nadia Reid of 2018 is surprisingly nonchalant: "You know, a lot of what’s happened wasn’t exactly ... I mean it just kind of happened you know?" she muses.

"I think back then I wouldn’t have been able to imagine this because I just had no idea."

I ask whether she thought Dunedin was a good place to grow up in as a musician.

"Yeah, definitely," she replies.

"I mean, there’s a very supportive community here and it was sort of small enough to be nurtured through being a young person and going to open-mike nights.

"There’s something special about Dunedin for creative people, there’s something in the air. I’m not quite sure what it is but I can’t kind find the same level of creativity when I’m in Auckland.

"I don’t know if it’s got anything to do with the weather or the hills or the ruggedness but it’s, yeah, it’s a good place to grow up."

This week Reid will be embarking on a 13-date tour of the country playing everywhere from Auckland (three times) to a secret location in Carterton, to The Cook here in her hometown of Dunedin.

It’ll be our last chance to hear her play before she heads to the US to record her next album, and after that she’ll be relocating to the UK.

"It’s such a small country and you do feel like you’re at sort of the end of the earth and I think if you have the opportunity to go to the UK or America or wherever, it’s a good move career wise if you get the chance. There’s just so much more available to you."

Despite that, she’ll miss her hometown of Port Chalmers.

"I mean, I really like being near the water, I find that to be quite a peaceful place to be, where I can see the water and walk around it. But it’s just, you feel the right amount of isolated out there while still having human interaction. So it’s a good place to be when you’re trying to write."

Supporting her at the Cook is local krautrock experience Die Musikband. Might have to abandon the Dunedin tradition of rocking up to the venue at 10pm expecting door sales for this one, tickets will sell out fast.

- For more from Fraser Thompson go to 


The gigs

Nadia Reid and her band take their "High and Lonely" tour on the road next week:

Queenstown, The Sherwood, Thursday

• Dunedin, Captain Cook Hotel, Friday

• The Grainstore, Oamaru, Saturday

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