Hailing from Christchurch, maitreya (Jamie Greenslade) is an MC with a mood and a message to renew the faith of Hip Hop heads worldwide. His soulful melodies punctuated by tight, head nodding beats and rhymes made him the first ever hip hop artist to crowd-source US$50,000 to record his debut solo album Close To Home via SellaBand.com - a revolutionary music site that links unsigned artists with top-notch recording facilities. Close To Home was produced by maitreya & The Silence (UK) and mastered at Universal Mastering Studios New York by legendary Vlado Meller (Kanye West, Public Enemy, Run DMC).
Success has also arisen for maitreya on his home soil, with single ‘Whakakotahi Rangatahi’ being confirmed as a finalist for this year’s APRA Maioha Award (recognising excellence in contemporary Maori music). The winner will be announced at the APRA Silver Scroll Awards, Christchurch Town Hall on Thursday September 17.
Furthermore, another maitreya single ‘Lotaluv’ was one of the Top 20 songs this year nominated for an actual Silver Scroll - New Zealand’s pre-eminent songwriting award - making maitreya the first ever artist to be nominated in both categories in the same year. maitreya was also nominated for the Maioha Award award last year with his track ‘Waitaha’, marking the first time a Pakeha had been nominated in the category.
maitreya began his career as a founding member of live Hip Hop band, Nilstate, which gained a cult-like following around Christchurch, with a reputation for explosive performances. He moved to Auckland, in '96 and joined the crew Dark Tower who took the nation by storm in the summer of '00, touring to sold-out venues throughout the country. In '03, maitreya took his skills to the Mecca of Hip Hop, New York City, where he secured an internship at Roc-a-Fella Records (Jay-Z). For the next two years, he worked for Roc-a-Fella and immersed himself in New York's Open Mic scene, eventually getting his own show Illegal in and around the Lower East Side.
More recently, maitreya has been out on the road accompanying local legend King Kapisi on his nationwide tour, and is set for more shows with Kapisi throughout September at the following cities:
For further info, check out the new maitreya website – www.maitreya.co.nz