Nathan King redesigned the original Pop stars TV program from 22 years ago when it was approached to be part of the revamped format.
“I hadn’t watched every episode religiously when the original Pop stars happened in 1999, ”he says.
“Zed (his group) was exploding at the time. We were in the music scene, but at the same time, we were trying to establish ourselves as a legitimate rock ‘n’ roll band compared to what we considered at the time to be a non-legitimate, made-for-TV experiment. Which was interesting. So, fast forward 20 years, the only reservation I had was whether it would be the same again. “
King, Zed’s guitarist and singer, wanted to know more about the show before signing.
“It was fantastic to hear that the philosophy of the show has really changed,” he says.
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Pop stars, the show that created girl group True Bliss, is a local reality show that hopes to discover the next big thing in music. To be won, $ 100,000 in cash prizes.
The show’s three panelists, King and fellow musicians Kimbra and Vince Harder, are looking for a band that has what it takes to launch a musical career.
King, 42, born in Christchurch, has long been associated with the world of music. He has been singing on stage since he was a teenager.
“It wasn’t really until high school that I found out I could sing. I had the courage in fifth grade to enter the high school singing competition, ”he says.
“No one really encouraged me to do it, but I just thought it was worth a try.
“I was up against this classically trained and really amazing opera singer in school who had been singing for years for years, and I was like, ‘I don’t stand a chance’ and that sort of worked out. relieved the pressure. I sang that jazzy song by George Michael actually. It was a song called Kiss an idiot.
“The judge was trained in jazz and loved my voice, and I finished second, which even surprised me.
“The next thing I was asked to join the local rock band at school.”
In his early twenties, King was busy with Zed. The group’s hits include Renegade Fighter, Glorafilia and Hard to find her.
“We finished Zed for a long time in 2005 after our second record and some big stints abroad,” King said.
“I released two solo albums after that, then I joined Andy who is Zed’s guitarist. He and I started making music together for TV, movies, and things like that.
“Since 2012, we have been managing Hum Studios. We made a lot of music that people would hear daily but don’t know we did.
A visit to the Hum Studios website shows video clips of TV commercials the couple worked on.
“It was a pivot, but we make music that has been great,” King said. “Then, at the same time, we keep in touch with other artists, helping to produce music, recording things, working for them. And we released the weird random look when we felt so inclined. Since 2019, we have reformed Zed and started playing live again.
When asked what he brings to Pop stars, King says: “Apart from 25 years of living and breathing [music] myself? I guess, a good ear for what is authentic and music that will resonate with audiences. “
Although King has extensive experience in the music industry, he says he appears on Pop stars was initially intimidating.
“In most of my roles, I sing or act, I don’t speak. So that’s the main difference.
“I have to deal with things as a panelist and process a lot of information quickly, and then give instant feedback on our thoughts and opinions. “
Away from the bright lights of entertainment, King is married and has children. He has a 12 year old daughter and two 11 and 9 year old boys. His offspring shows a talent for music.
“My daughter is really drawn to the piano and is naturally very good at things that are exciting,” King says.
“My boys have fantastic voices, just like my daughter, but rhythmically as well as they all have a special gene, I think not everyone has one, especially my youngest.
“He does beat-boxing and it’s interesting to watch. He is more attracted to the rhythm than to the melody. Naturally.
“It’s fascinating and it’s really exciting to see where it takes him.”
Popstars, TVNZ 2, screenings on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.