Welcome to weekly series The Singles Life, where known experts Katie Parker and Hussein Moses peruse, ponder and pontificate on the latest and (maybe) greatest in New Zealand music.
Remember Naz from The Bachelor NZ? Of course you do. Somehow she ended up in a music video by a reggae artist who goes by the name of K Dread. Hussein Moses and Katie Parker go all the way in on the local pop culture moment that wasn’t.
Hussein Moses: Let’s start with some basic Naz facts.
1. She was the runner-up on the last season of The Bachelor NZ, which didn’t matter because she was practically the real winner of the show anyway. (Sidenote: It would come as absolutely no surprise if a third season of the show never gets green-lit in this lifetime.)
2. After a lot of hype, her boxing match with Mai FM’s Lily Taurau was sidelined after promoters deemed her “not healthy enough to step into the ring”.
3. She’s picked up a deal post-Bachelor NZ with … wait for it … Thin Lizzy.
I fully endorse Naz, I really do. But her career moves confuse me so much. I expected her to debut in the next Max Key video or something, not a reggae song where the video was shot in Whanganui. This all makes zero sense to me.
Here's what we're working with:
Katie Parker: Her make-up looks great (Thin Lizzy doesn’t fuck around), but the video is very, very strange and very low budget. Could they not have at least waited for a sunny day? Why does the chin beard guy never take his sunnies off? I feel bad for Sienna Templeton (who does the guest verse here); couldn't she have been “the girl”?
My theory is Naz knows she has to strike while the iron is hot. She can't just wait around for Max Key to release a song. She has to go NOW. And I guess K Dread was keen.
Hussein: According to NZ Herald, K Dread “wanted beauty and star power for his latest music video” and Naz “quickly agreed to star in the video”.
Hussein: I don't like that she's just playing his love interest in the video because it's practically the same role she played on The Bachelor NZ.
Katie: True, they just go on a really average date which we've seen her do a million times already. To be fair, I was not previously aware of K Dread, so her beauty and star power were definitely a boon.
Hussein: I think Naz rules, but this seems very off-brand for someone trying to break through. Though, in saying that, she was also super into the Bachelor guy, which seems insane any which way you look at it.
Katie: Oh yeah, I love her, but she's gotta be pretty fame hungry to feign interest in Jordan Mauger for as long as she did. Naz was cool though because she was feisty and fun and sassy and stuff, and here she's just real passive and boring and spends half the video carrying around her heels like she thought she was going somewhere more exciting. It seems like a dud Tinder date.
Hussein: Should we be worried about Naz's future? I feel like this could all be solved quite easily if she had a good publicist.
Katie: I’m a bit worried, to be honest. It should be a swift and stellar ascent to Joe Cotton-level stardom, but it feels like she's making rash decisions that aren't going to get her there. I don't like seeing her playing second fiddle either; Naz should be the main event. Ideally, I see her as a radio host or minor EDM star.
Hussein: There's always Dancing With The Stars, but I think she's better than that. (Plus I’m sure Jordan Mauger has no doubt already put his name forward.) Also, we need to address the obvious here: it's criminal there's still no Bachelorette NZ. Give the people what they want.
Katie: It is truly the biggest missed opportunity. The Bachelorette is the radical, subversive silver lining to the horrific misogynist cloud that is The Bachelor. Naz would have been the greatest Bachelorette in history. She would have been an icon. And now her star is slipping and we might lose her forever??
I think pulling out of the boxing was the nail in the coffin. We wanted to see her box and now we having nothing. Isn't she a landscaper? Maybe she could have a landscaping show.
Hussein: One more important question: how much better do you think the video would be if K Dread wasn't wearing those wrap-around sunglasses? 100%? 500%?
Katie: There’s no way Naz would date a guy wearing those sunglasses; it undermines the whole concept of the video. What do you think of Sienna Templeton, who is relegated to a black and white jetty completely outside of the Naz/K Dread narrative? Do you not think this would have cuter if she had had Naz's part? Or is it nothing without Naz?
Hussein: Sienna definitely feels like an afterthought here, which is a shame because she could carry the song on her own, no question. It’s obvious that it was filmed separately and then edited in later.
Saying that, I’ve listened to this more times than I want to admit and I think I might be coming around to it. It’s totally inoffensive, but it doesn’t fill me with dread like a lot of the other reggae stuff that’s out there (by “out there” I mean Wellington).
Katie: The song is a bit slow and benign to really stick with me. But, just like an uneventful walk around Whanganui on a cloudy day, it’s not absolutely terrible or anything. Actually, maybe it’s quite nice.
Hussein: I was DM’ing a friend about the video and he said that it was a weird New Zealand pop culture moment that won’t ever actually be a moment. I think that just about sums it up.
See you at Raggamuffin.