WW100 – New Zealand's First World War Centenary Programme ran from 2014 to 2019

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Luck of the Draw – MC Oblique & Madison Nonoa

Part of the Luck of the Draw project

Luck of The Draw is an original music collaboration featuring conscious hip hop MC Oblique and Pacifica soprano Madison Nonoa. Vocals recorded over two days with beatmakers and sonic producers Rhombus Productions in their Wellington inner city studio. Guest trombone Matthew Allison.

Download the transcript – Word doc (20 KB), PDF (20 KB)

MC Oblique  

MC Oblique’s lyrics use conscription as a metaphor for modern life and being dealt cards which put people in situations out of their control. The theme is about facing and overcoming the burdens and challenges created by conscription.

While MC Oblique’s concept stayed consistent throughout the recording process, his lyrics were tweaked to fit the instrumental provided by Dr Thomas and Madison’s vocals.

Madison Nonoa 

Madison’s vocals were inspired by the themes of strength through adversity and courage in the face of overwhelming odds that were common in the popular songs of the First World War.

As people tried to grapple with a new reality that involved unimaginable loss and suffering, they turned to the comfort and escapism of music. If only for brief moments, people could live in hope and remember a more peaceful past.

By immersing herself in the poetry and sounds of the First World War, Madison saw the similarity with some of the problems people face today. Madison believes the ‘luck of the draw’ theme of conscription still resonates in New Zealand. While conscription contributed to the free society we have today, the modern-day ‘luck of the draw’ shows disparities in wealth, health and education. Madison asks if the choices people have today are much different to our ancestors’ and whether we have progressed enough to stop war reaching us again.

About MC Oblique

24-year-old MC Oblique has been writing and rapping since the age of 15. Christchurch-based MC Oblique is recognised as one of the top MCs in New Zealand’s battle scene. He runs RedZone Battles, giving artists a platform to show their talent and build Christchurch’s hip hop scene. MC Oblique works full-time in civil construction and is the proud father of a two year old son. His musical influences cover all genres and include Immortal Technique, Talib Kweli, Ill Bill, Sean Price, Royce Da 5'9, Jay-Z and 2pac.

About Madison 

Since graduating with a Bachelor of Music (First Class Honours) from the University of Auckland in 2014, the Waikato-born soprano has been a finalist and winner of several singing competitions in New Zealand. Coming third in the 2016 Lexus Song Quest, Madison was awarded the Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation Prize for Most Promising Singer. Madison made her operatic debut in New Zealand Opera’s The Magic Flute in 2016 while completing a Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist internship. Madison received the Iosefa Enari Memorial Award at Creative Arts New Zealand’s Pacific Arts Awards and was accepted into the inaugural Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation Development Programme for Young Singers. She made her Australian debut in 2016 as a guest soloist with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Choir. In 2017 she has performed alongside Madeleine Pierard in Rufus Wainwright’s Prima Donna and in the title role of Theodora with the Days Bay Opera. Most recently, Madison made her debut with Auckland Theatre Company’s production of Amadeus.

Hear more from MC Oblique

Listen to an interview with Madison Nonoa