TOI, Ellesse Andrews and Max Brown
TOI, Ellesse Andrews and Max Brown have teamed up to create 'Ain't Just Dreaming'
00:00 / 05:28
Mai Morning Crew

Olympians team with Wellington band TOI for 2024 Games theme song 'Ain't Just Dreaming'

Ellesse Andrews and Max Brown step off the bike and kayak and into the studio.
7 March 2024 9:43AM

Olympians Ellesse Andrews and Max Brown have collaborated with Wellington band TOI to create a new anthem that captures the essence of the Aotearoa's sporting heart.

Tegan, Fame and Nickson dug deep into the creative process, from the conception of 'Ain't Just Dreaming' in casual conversations in Birmingham to the final product, which echoes the anticipation, adrenaline, and pure emotion associated with Olympic competition.

"We're just trying to express all the emotions that you go through on a race day," explained Ellesse. "Like when you wake up on the day of your Olympic final, you're scared as, but you're also real excited."

Max was always music first, studying jazz early in life before discovering kayaking.

"I started doing kayaking late in high school actually, and all my friends were way better than me, but when winter rolled around, I was the only one who kept going," Max said.

This perseverance translated into his approach to music and sport, though he admits, "it turns out there's no way" to fully pursue both at a professional level simultaneously.

"Max was studying jazz guitar with us a few years behind us," the members of TOI revealed. The band recalled the emotional moment when the Olympians heard the final acoustic version, that brought them to tears. "It was sounding beautiful... They were both crying, and I was like, OK, mission accomplished."

Ellesse described the song as something to set the mood at the start of the day.

"I feel like I like to start the day and sort of get myself going, and, yeah, have a wee groove." 

TOI then spoke on their unique experience making the track. "It flowed, there was no hiccups," they said about the process, proud of the end result. It was a collaboration that not only produced a heartfelt anthem but also fostered a deeper connection between the worlds of music and sport.

Check out the full interview up top and stream the track below!.