Us Two: Kings and his dad Anthony Wilson
Anthony/ The creative gene is really strong in our family. My father was one of the first Maori to graduate from Elam School of Fine Arts – someone took an interest in him at a very early age and decided to help foster his art. So we always acknowledge that creativity gets handed down through the family. That's what this whole thing with Kings was for me – you have a God-given talent and you have to show everybody what you can do.
He must have been about seven when he started to play this four-string guitar at home. I played in rock bands and I'd always take the kids to band practices, so they got to hear the music and got to be around it – even though they weren't allowed to touch anything. Then Kings went to Mainz (Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand) and I think that just cemented the whole music side of things for him. I don't think he wanted to do anything else after that.
We are a duo. We sit inside the studio together and bash each other with ideas. Then we'll have a little argument. But I think the relationship works because we allow each other to go back and forth. Speaking freely without taking offence.
Funny story: Kingsdon had a problem with getting food in his mouth. He was a very messy eater – and he's still messy. It is well known in the family that Kingsdon has dyslexia with his fingers or something when it comes to eating. We'd buy him beautiful new clothes and in two seconds there'd be sauce and stuff all over them. It got to the stage where his grandmother used to bring out a tray so it could catch all the bits and pieces. He hates this story. That's why I'm telling it.
Kings as a young boy was also a great sportsman. He was a fantastic gridiron player and he's a great boxer. I reckon if he wasn't going to be a musician he would be a great fighter. He's also a great father. Loves his daughter to pieces. He lives a very busy life right now, so trying to fit a home life in with a really busy schedule is always difficult. But he manages to spend as much time as he can with his daughter.
We pick up the slack where we need to, but he's a doting, loving father, and I think he's done really well considering there was a broken relationship in terms of me and his mum. To come out of that and still be a great parent is testimony to him, I think.
Kings/ It was Dad who kind of set me on this journey. I was at the point where I could either get a full-time job or do music full time, and it was Dad who said to stay on the path. I was getting pressure from my mum and my partner at the time – we'd just had a kid – and it was, "Go get a job to get us some money" you know? But I just had such a passion for music and Dad saw it. Do what you have to do, he said, I'll support you where I can. That was the beginning.
Dad's very much a thinker. He plans things to a tee, to the point where there are almost no mistakes. Me, I'm real spontaneous – I will just do something. Dad kind of pulls the reins. "Wait, let's plan this." So we have a little bit of conflict. It's not even conflict, it's more like a little kid trying to run outside and play on the road – "Get back here!" That's Dad.
With the single Don't Worry Bout It, the way I originally wrote it was quite surface-level. To me, Don't Worry Bout It was like, When McDonald's gets your order wrong, don't worry 'bout it. That was kind of where I was writing from. It was Dad who actually said, "Write from your heart, because the track's dope but you're not hitting the lyrics."
So then we went to the park with the kids and that was the genesis of it, because I sat down and was like, OK, let's do it properly. If it wasn't for Dad I probably would have released the McDonald's version – and it might not have done what it did.
We have similar passions. Dad loves to fight as well. He brought me up on Bruce Lee and martial arts films. Dad likes seminar speaking – that's one thing I think he's amazing at, just being able to talk in front of crowds. To me it was like, "How do you do that man?" Then he told me his process and now I don't have nerves when I go on stage. My band will be like, "Bro, we're about to play in front of 14,000 people, are you nervous?" I'll go, "Nah, I'm ready. I'm ready to show them what's up."
We're best friends almost – actually he's my best friend for sure. We live together as well as work together, so we'll just laugh at the silliest shit. I honestly don't think I've ever been upset by him. If anything it would have been back when I was a kid, around the time my mum and dad split up. But I didn't know what I was feeling – I wouldn't call it disappointment with my dad or disappointment with my mum, it was just like something was missing at that time.
My dad's the man. And he taught me how to be a man. He raised the king in me.