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  • Writer's pictureRawiri James

Behind the Lyric: Trust The One You Wit'

The first time I stepped into a proper recording studio, I was 19 years old. I was a student of NZ's Film & Television School and our first assignment was a music video. I decided to write and record my own song - it was called Trust The One You Wit'.

That was a long time ago, and it sounded a lot different to the version that made it on to the Lost Boy album. For a start, the soundscape was completely changed. Back then, you see, aspiring rappers and singers with no access to original productions would use the instrumental tracks that were often included on single releases. This original version was recorded over the beat to Flow On Show's Innocent Love (a criminally underrated NZ song).

The end result was very mediocre. I wasn't a trained singer (actually, I'm still not...) and I didn't really understand much about vocal layering, background harmonies and that sorta stuff. It had a decent melody line and catchy chorus lyrics but it was... lacking.

Somebody spin the rumour, she copped the glass to magnify it
Took my pass and amplified her confirmation of my lying
She used to be my homes, now she Sherlocked up the doors
Shoulda secured my heart, indemnified it

Fast forward a decade and when piecing together the Lost Boy album, I reached out to Kaivai Andrews, who is the man responsible for the epic beat to Trip the Alarm. I laid out the remaining tracks and asked him to produce and he chose this one to work on.

The album version contains only bits and pieces of that original demo version (the old opening line 'you think I'm creeping...' became the bridge in the new version; the chorus has the same lyrics but different chord progression).

The other major difference came in the new version's much more hip-hop styled verses, on which Kaivai and I wrote 16 bars each. Trust The One You Wit' contains some of my own favourite lyrics (who else would rhyme spectacular, vernacular, binocular and massacre?).

I give Kaivai props for the beat production, which is throwback 90s hip-hop genius, and his rap verse is effortlessly smooth, too. A Bad Boys reference? Hell yes! He totally got what I was trying to make with Lost Boy and served up a standout track that is also one of my favourites to perform live.

Listen here:


** I couldn't find any version of the demo, but if you play Innocent Love and sing the lyrics over the top, you'll find how it works!

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