Born in Ōtautahi | Christchurch, of Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Pākehā descent, Dallas Tamaira was raised in the small coastal town of Kaikōura and since come to be known for his soulful sounds the world over.
Best known as the singer of iconic New Zealand group Fat Freddy’s Drop, Dallas has a career in the arts spanning back over 30 years. After leaving high school Dallas joined the groundbreaking performing arts collective Pacific Underground, whose members have included notable artists such as Ladi6, Oscar Kightley and Scribe. He then relocated to Wellington in the late 1990s where he began collaborating with DJ, musician and producer Chris Faiumu aka Mu. During these early days Dallas teamed up with Mu as beatmaking duo Bongmaster, wrote and recorded a solo EP as Dallas Tamaira, ‘Better Than Change’, collaborated with other artists under the name Joe Dukie, and then joined Mu to begin what would become Fat Freddy’s Drop.
Twenty years on, Fat Freddy’s Drop are one of the most successful and influential New Zealand acts of the 21st Century. Considered one of the top live acts both locally and abroad, Dallas has fronted the Drop as vocalist from their underground days, performances at the Matterhorn and early gigs in London, to now headlining sell-out shows and festivals across Europe, Australia, and Aotearoa. Dallas is also an illustrator and his cartoon characters have appeared in the artwork for the Drop’s ‘Hope For A Generation’ and ‘Based On A True Story’ albums.
Whilst the Drop has taken up much of Dallas’ time for the past two decades, in his downtime he has continued to guest on tracks as Joe Dukie for local acts such as Shapeshifter, Julien Dyne, Recloose, The Upbeats and Pacific Heights as well as international acts such as Jazzanova, The Nextmen, Gentleman’s Dub Club, Eva Be and Boozoo Bajou. Dallas’ pseudonym and stage name, Joe Dukie, is inspired by his father, singer and songwriter Joe, and his grandfather who was a musician nicknamed Dukie after Duke Ellington.
During the pandemic, with Fat Freddy’s Drop unable to tour, Dallas found a new phase of personal creativity. The self isolation and whānau focused time of the lockdowns created the perfect conditions for the self-proclaimed introvert to work on a suite of new solo music.
Collaborating with his long-time friend, award-winning producer Devin Abrams (Shapeshifter, Drax Project, Pacific Heights), the pair worked together to write and record three singles, ‘No Flowers’ (2020), ‘Spider’ (2021), ‘Just Fine’ (2022), which garnered much acclaim and a combined 10 million streams.
Dallas now releases his first solo EP in over twenty years, ‘Levels’, produced by Abrams and engineered by Mu. An entirely fresh body of work, Dallas traverses new sonic spaces across ‘Levels’ six intricately woven and beautifully nuanced tracks. For a singer who has delivered endless exquisite performances over the years, the EP sees Dallas as a vocal voyager, exploring who he is as an artist, whilst being a resolute figure of strength and warmth. A stunning creative statement, the Levels EP is a brand new and exciting chapter from one of Aotearoa’s most beloved voices.