Hailing from New Zealand’s North Island, rising hip-hop star Rei has long been flying the flag for a fusion of hip-hop and contemporary R&B music coming out of Aotearoa. With three studio albums to his name, Rei is at home when creating music that is unashamedly honest and individual in its crafting and delivery. As 2020 winds its way towards its (long-awaited) completion, Rei gears up for his new chapter, kick-started by the release of his new single, ‘Borderline’.


A bright slice of music that sees Rei lean into pop melodies while tight beats and easy-to-vibe production drive the arrangement throughout, ‘Borderline’ is catchy and representative of Rei’s fun and confident nature.


Recorded in Auckland at Kog Studio with multi-award winning engineer Chris Chetland (Dua Lipa, Snoop Dogg) on mixing/mastering, ‘Borderline’ puts the early stages of a relationship under the microscope, as Rei ponders its possibilities, and the expectations couples sometimes put on one another.


“I wrote and produced this song one Saturday night when I was feeling a little lonely, wanting to be with someone but also frustrated at my reluctance to commit to another relationship. It’s also just a fun song, about embracing the casualness of some relationships. Not everything has to be all lovey dovey and serious. Sometimes we need to go through a few casual things to be ready for something more serious. And that’s what this song is all about. Embracing the casual, but also kinda missing that past love.” Rei


Accompanying the release of ‘Borderline’ is its official music video, directed by Rei and Huia Hamon. The video’s concept, kept simplistic, keeps the focus on Rei’s performance as he indulges the fun, romanticism of the track.


“I wanted the video to match the personal vibe and simplicity of the song, which is why I kept the set ups simple, and made the video performance based. The petal picking is about me tryna figure out if I’m gonna date this person properly or just let her go. We all get stuck over thinking things sometimes, and get stuck in these indecisive loops. The dreamy shots reflected this inner indecisiveness going on in my head.” Rei


Watch ‘Borderline’ below


2019 and 2020 have proven to be successful and busy for Rei, with the release of his third album, The Bridge and this year’s Hoea. The Bridge, which earned the 26 year old nominations for ‘Best Māori Artist’ and ‘Best R&B Artist’ at the 2019 New Zealand Music Awards, further established Rei as a formidable force within his own music community.


Boasting over 5 million streams on Spotify alone, Rei’s reach has been exponential. With the release of ‘Borderline’, Rei is bringing new music to his Australian fans and newcomers alike. And with his presence growing with each release, Rei continues to champion music that is not simply self-fulfilling, but provides an opportunity to celebrate his heritage. The bilingual rapper, producer and singer performs in both English and te reo Māori, a testament to his commitment to his craft and his culture.



“Like all his music, it’s distinctly Kiwi but still different from anything other local artists are making. New Zealand On Air has an unprecedented level of talent on its airwaves, and Rei is one of its champions.”
The Spin Off, Josie Adams

“It feels safer to refer to Rei as a triple-threat, although his true capabilities may extend beyond singing, dancing and producing.”, Alex Behan

“Rei is one of the most interesting and successful local artists who has successfully bridged R&B, Pop and Hip-Hop as well as effortlessly using te reo as a vehicle.”, Graham Reid

“Hip-Hop and Rap music has thrived in New Zealand for as long as the genres themselves have been around; here, Rei has now left a mark on the scene that is unique and created a sound of his own.”, Steve Shyu


‘Borderline’ is out now!


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