West coming south but North is unlikely
Kanye West fans, rejoice: the self-proclaimed rap megastar is heading to New Zealand later this year.
The 21-time Grammy Award winner, who is bringing his YEEZUS tour to Australia for a five-city run in September, was strongly rumoured to be adding a New Zealand concert date, an industry source told the Sunday Star Times.
The source, who asked not to be named, said it was still unclear whether the 37-year-old rapper's tour to this side of the ditch would take place before or after the Australian tour, which was scheduled to run from September 5-15.
Australian promoters Live Nation would not be drawn on the subject.
News of an imminent tour announcement is music to the ears of die-hard Kanye West fan Haley Crooks, who is a DJ at hip-hop and R&B station Mai FM.
Crooks set up a petition to get West to New Zealand when the Australian tour was announced in February, which has so far gathered 3000 signatures.
The singer-songwriter, who is known for hits like Gold Digger and All of the Lights, was a controversial character and the public had a range of views on his strong personality but his music sent powerful messages based on his views of world issues, she said.
Crooks, who was also a fan of West's reality television wife Kim Kardashian and the couple's 1-year-old baby North West, said she hoped Kardashian would also make the trip down under but she was not holding her breath.
Mai FM programme director Phil Bell, who had seen the rapper perform in New Zealand in the past, said West's level of stardom had skyrocketed since he played Auckland's St James Theatre back in 2006.
"He's an enigma.
"I think that the intrigue level alone, let alone the fans of the music, would just make this the biggest thing for a long long time," Bell said.
Regional facilities Auckland, the council-owned organisation that managed the city's major facilities, said West coming to New Zealand would be a big boost, injecting as much as $5 million into Auckland's economy.
But New Zealand promoters will have to prepare for the megastar's outrageous dressing room demands. During a tour of the United Kingdom last year he wanted his dressing room carpet ironed and everything in his dressing room be replaced with white objects, including the walls, sofa and flowers.
A list of West's dressing room demands from 2007 showed he also had to have a range of furniture, including a loveseat, a variety of snacks, specific shampoos and alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks but strictly no Coca-Cola.
Sunday Star Times