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Auckland based artist Cat Tunks AKA Black Sand Diva graces the Auckland stage this week, performing at the Victoria Theatre, Devonport on Friday March 18th (with blues artist Ruth Wyand, USA).

We asked her some pertinent questions relating to her craft and creative process:

When did you realise you wanted to make music?

It was something that was around my family since I was super young - but other members were expected to do it seriously, not me - but then it just happened, after joining The Madding Crowd In Wellington and releasing an album with them, I carried on - then after 6 years of playing music full time and living in kind of got decided for I just carried on :-)...


Name two major musical influences and why? 

Aretha Franklin - because of THAT voice, and Jeff Buckley, because of his absolute other worldly ability to take you to another dimension with his voice. Even if I don't listen to them lately, their styles and personalities, what they contribute always remain a constant in my mind.


What do you find most challenging about the creative process?

Time and finances I guess and being a Mum, and an older female artist in the music industry is never an easy one, the guilt game that happens to women and not men for putting their 'craft' first is a real thing, and of course, it's always hard to believe in what you are doing. without the matter how long you may have been doing it for and even when the evidence points otherwise.......


What do you want people to take away from your music?

A story, a thought that lingers....


What’s in the pipeline for 2016?

Currently collaborating songwriting for album number 3 with two German Musicians touring from the group Solid Brew I met whilst performing at Waiheke Jazz Festival last year. It's exciting, it's amazing what can come out of a skype conversation now, and I'm hoping October/November should see a good stint of time there, my second time performing in Germany. A small tour with them is happening in NZ this April, but I've been playing more and more old school soul, blues and americana gospel of late, and am getting very pulled towards the American deep south after supporting bottle neck slide player Ruth Wyand (North Carolina) here in NZ this fingers crossed. I've always been a Chameleon playing all kinds of music, so the best thing is working with a style of music and collaboration that challenges me yet is still a direction Ive been hoping to move towards, so thats a nice feeling.

Cat Tunks, Black Sand Diva, Auckland Arts Festival, Ruth Wyand