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Six rangitahi on a journey of self-discovery through music in The Collective


7 April 2021

The Collective is an eight-part docuseries by Boxed Media following six rangitahi through a youth music programme designed to give them real-world skills and help them make positive life changes through the power of music.

The series shows the artists creating music, sharing their backstories and hopes for the future, and working together to pull off an event to showcase their talents.

The Crescendo programme gives the artists the opportunity to work week to week with industry mentors such as Marcus Powell (Blindspott) and David Atai (Nesian Mystic), and to connect with award-winning artists such as Melodownz and MC Tali who offer their insights to the artists as they work to take control of their futures.

“It’s been an amazing experience working with the crew to document the stories of these six talented rangatahi and I think viewers will find their stories compelling,” said Producer Rachale Davies (Ngāti Mahanga).

“We’re all about helping young people find meaningful pathways through the creative industries, and I’m really proud of the hard work these artists are putting in to give themselves the best shot at a music career,” said Crescendo founder and CEO Marcus Powell (Te Āti Awa, Ngāpuhi).

“We’ve had artists like Church & AP and Disciple Pati come through Crescendo, and I know that we’ll have more that make a real name for themselves in the music industry.”

The Collective is out on Monday 12 April on, with eight episodes of the webseries plus live performance videos.

Watch the trailer

Meet the talent

Ace Swamii

Mataio, AKA Ace Swamii, is an experimental rap artist with his beats channelling jazz, hip hop and RnB.

But while his genre is hard to fit in one box, all of Mataio’s songs are influenced by his own experiences.

Growing up in a very music-heavy environment, Mataio was never destined for a “normal job”. A self-confessed poet, music was his calling and he describes himself as a perfectionist in his approach.

Mataio seeks inspiration from artists like David Bowie and Andre 3000 who, despite being incredibly different in sound, have always been true to themselves.

His stage name Ace Swamii is a nod to his father, whose nickname is Ace, and Buddhist spiritual leaders/advisors known as Swami.

In his spare time Mataio can be found writing music, skateboarding and making art. 


Mahima AKA EMCEA is an emerging multi-genre and experimental RnB artist from Kaitaia, now based in Auckland. His sound is soulful and authentic, channeling all of his feelings into his music. His purpose is to use his musical platform to share high-vibe messages with the masses.

Iris G
Iris G is a 22-year-old RnB singer/songwriter from Avondale, Auckland. 

Iris merges quirky vocals with personal storytelling and hard-hitting synths that draw listeners in and takes them on a journey.

“My music is a mix of old school hip hop, RnB and emotions,” Iris says. 

As a self described feminist, Iris isn’t afraid to speak her mind and takes inspiration from singers like Lizzo. Her music focuses on personal life experiences and lyrics promoting female empowerment. 

Adding to her collection, Iris’ new single ‘My Body Is Mine’ is dropping April 12. It will be available on all streaming platforms.


Amelia AKA Lesboss is an up and coming pop artist with upbeat, feel-good vibes. Lesbos is Amelia’s alter ego, her superhero suit reminding her of her innate self-worth while representing the LGBTQ community. 


2Trae is an up and coming artist from East Auckland, New Zealand. Hailing from Glen Innes, 2Trae brings a trap soul sound with a street pain feel.

Using his past experiences as the inspiration behind his music, 2Trae delivers relatable and real music. 

 With his brother Jay they are trailblazing a new path for the other boys in the GI hood, showing how to live a more productive, clean life by getting off the streets and getting into music


Yhung J.A.E is an up and coming Soulful Rap artist from East Auckland, Glen Innes. With his music inspired by life lessons and influenced by his peers and surroundings. Taking on life's struggles and coming out a stronger and more empowered man.

With his brother Trey they are trailblazing a new path for the other boys in the GI hood, showing how to live a more productive, clean life by getting off the streets and getting into music.

Media contact

Please contact Josie Campbell with any publicity requests about RNZ shows, podcasts, video series or talent -

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Creative team

Rachale Davies - Producer / Exec Producer / Series Creator
Creativity and storytelling go hand in hand for Rachale and the potential of taking a seed of an idea and growing it into full bloom spins her wheels.  Having worked in the screen industry since she was 16 years old, Rachale has multiple credits in directing, development and producing.  Rachale’s inability to sit still has seen her trot the globe. Beginning with the UK’s BBC she worked her way around some of the biggest networks and media houses including Seven Network, TVNZ, and Fremantle Media.

Rachale has worked across all genres of programming, from big brand reality TV, news and current affairs, digital campaigns and documentary. She is awarded for producing and directing and a recent highlight was receiving Best Direction from AACA for the documentary film, Miss Amazing, a standout story of 16 year old Abigail who was seeking one thing in life - a friend.   

Rachale has a desire to seek out stories from those that need to be heard and her ability to facilitate these stories with authenticity and respect is her sweet spot.  Forming Boxed Media in 2016, Rachale is careful in selecting the right team of people to work with talent, enabling their stories to translate. 

Alexis Smith - Director

From New York to Madagascar, and the Amazon to Miami, Alexis has traversed the world to tell the untold stories of people and places deserving to be seen and heard.  With BBC training, a bevy of show credits, and a Zoology degree tucked under her arm, Alexis moved to Aotearoa a few years ago in search of epic nature, surf, and new stories to tell, Alexis joined the production team to direct The Collective.  

It was as if the project was written in the stars - she had spent lockdown rediscovering her passion for music and facing her fears of singing and finding her voice. 

And as soon as lockdown lifted, here was the perfect project to dive into the world of music and learn from the similar experiences of each of the musicians.

Hunter Crouchley - DOP

At 26 years of age Hunter has over a 100 credited documentaries and cinematography awards making him undoubtedly ‘’one to watch’’.  

Having begun his career in the sound department at age 20, Hunter quickly progressed and moved over to the camera dept and has never looked back, since.  With an eye for detail and the incredible ability to make the dullest of scenes look magical we all look to see what Hunter will do next.  

With the ability to understand a boutique budget Hunter goes beyond to capture quality, as well, he has an innate ability to work alongside anyone and as approachable and empathic as he is draws the best from out talent, which does make Hunter, one of a kind.   

About Crescendo

Crescendo is a music and recording studio production facility based in Auckland. They specialise in sound design services for local and international productions, from audiobooks, podcasts, film & television to gaming, advertising and media.

More importantly they are a social enterprise. This means all of the profit from their work goes back into mentoring programmes for youth aged 12-24.

Their clients know that they are getting industry best with our expert team of audio engineers as well as giving back to our communities.

Crescendo website

About Boxed Media 

Boxed Media is a boutique production company that focuses on creating beautiful and intelligent visual content that illuminate the powerful stories they share. Boxed Media’s kaupapa is to ensure their stories are told with mana, respect and authenticity. 

Boxed Media website

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