Church and AP - Happy Song

Backyard Beats 01/12/2020

Hot off the back of winning Best Hip-Hop Artist at the Aotearoa Music Awards (as well as claiming for wins at the Pacific Music Awards: best album, best hip-hop artist, best radio song, and best producer), Kiwi duo Church & AP return with their new single ‘Happy Song’.

At just 20 and 21 years of age, and staunchly independent, Church & AP have the world at their feet and ‘Happy Song’ is the sound of two MCs with confidence, swagger and innovation. Leaning on inspirations such as ‘A Tribe Called Quest’, Southern-fried soul, UK grime and drill, the duo have cut out their own distinctly unique voice in the world of Hip-Hop. 

Undoubtedly one of the most exciting acts to emerge from New Zealand’s bubbling modern music scene, Church & AP have taken the industry by storm in the last 18 months.

Their breakout single ‘Ready or Not’ made it’s its way from heavy rotate on NZ’s biggest hip-hop and R’n’B station Mai FM to the UK’s famed BBC Radio 1xtra via tastemaking radio presenter and DJ Jamz Supernova, and clocking up over 5 million streams in the process.

Following the meteoric success of ‘Ready Or Not’, Church & AP were lauded by press for their exciting and innovative new sound. In 2020, Teeth saw Church & AP win four Pacific Music Awards (best album, best hip-hop artist, best radio song, and best producer) and Best Hip-Hop Artist at the Aotearoa Music Awards in New Zealand. 

In October 2020, they released At Thy Feet (Side A), the first half of a two-part album. Around these releases, Church & AP have been performing headline shows around New Zealand, recording with their YKK crew (Dera Meelan, Deadforest, etc) and gigging on the summer festival circuit. 

In the same tradition as South Auckland’s legendary pop act OMC, who formed at the Otara Music and Arts Centre, Church & AP came together as a duo through taking part in local community hall music programs in Auckland’s Mount Roskill and Te Atatu suburbs. There, they were tutored by a generation of New Zealand hip-hop and reggae artists including Tom Scott (Avantdale Bowling Club, Homebrew), Melodownz and Iron Will.

Since they dropped, the duo’s self-assured creativity has done the talking. Social media hit ‘Introvert’ and appearances on David Dallas’ famed Red Bull 64 Bars freestyle series won them fans from the ground up. Killer sets at The Others Way Festival in 2018 and 2019, Northern Bass, Rhythm & Vines and opening slots for Saba and Genesis Owusu only served to build the hype. From there, they sold out their debut headline show in Auckland, visited the United Kingdom, Europe and the US to perform and work on music, before taking part in multiple nationwide headline tours and performing at the sold out SIX60 show at Auckland’s Western Springs in early 2020.  

Church & AP haven’t missed a shot yet – now working in their own studio and back in the community collaborating with the next wave of talent, they’re currently finishing At Thy Feet (Side B) and preparing for a summer of touring.