Video Premiere: Reiki Ruawai’s effortlessly timeless ‘Working Title’

Prepare for a captivating and addictive soul-pop hit as New Zealand’s Reiki Ruawai sets the tone with “Working Title,” effortlessly blending genres and showcasing his undeniable artistry.

Cool, timeless and undoubtedly alluring, New Zealand based Reiki Ruawai finds his optimal groove with his new single Working Title, the opening track for his upcoming EP. Effortlessly setting the tone for what’s to come, Working Title is as unfazed as its namesake. 

Redolent of Steve Lacy – with an uptempo kick – and Perth funk favourites SupaThick, Working Title flows with an ease that is as addictive as it is charming. Looped drums, shimmering synths and Reiki’s sultry tone running smooth circles around crunchy funk guitar solos; Working Title is an ambient trip through a refreshing atmospheric soul-pop hit. 

reiki ruawai

Melodically hypnotising though never stale, Reiki’s vocals on Working Title ooze confidence and nonchalance. There is a desire sparked to soak up this energy; to absorb it through the soundscape and possess it as one’s own.

Reiki slots firmly and seamlessly into the modern musical landscape, blending genres while still making something so readily accessible. It’s an elevation in his artistry; a solidification of who he is and who he is on the road to becoming. 

Assured and measured, – yet still so free and unchained Working Title has the capacity to wrestle with the big guns of soul, funk and pop. 

There’s a new energy to Working Title, – still channelling a Dijon like delivery, but with a new approach. Perhaps it’s the slight change in production or the layering of Reiki’s voice that levels up the new single.

Or perhaps it’s just a byproduct of finding your stride. Working Title feels like a showcase of Reiki in all of his glory. His proficiency as a guitarist and vocalist along with the expansive, glittery production marks a shift in maturity and direction.

Releasing Working Title as the first sample of a new era was an immensely smart move. The conviction with which the song presents is enticing and exciting; impossible to deny and redundant to ignore. Reiki is compelling, and so delightfully unattached that avoiding his impending ubiquitousness is unfeasible. 

In the freshly dropped music video, helmed by the visionary Crystal Chen, Auckland cool finds its perfect expression. The scene is set, as we are are ushered into a cozy coffee shop, where anticipation for a promising date brims like an espresso shot. But alas, destiny takes a twist, and our protagonist is left cooling his heels – and his coffee – as the date stands him up. But as we all know, silver linings can emerge from the darkest clouds!

Undeterred, Reiki bounces back with an unyielding spirit, transforming disappointment into a citywide odyssey of enchantment. Urban landscapes become a vibrant canvas for his vivid daydreams, as images of his elusive date dance at every street corner, turning reality into an imaginative playground. “Tell me I’m not the only one who conjures grand fantasies when plans go awry, right?” Reiki cheekily grins at his devoted fans, striking a chord with all who’ve ever been in his shoes.

The nostalgic touch of the video is a testament to the formidable duo of Crystal Chen and Nick Alexander, who craft a visual narrative that oozes authenticity. Their passion for the art of film infuses every frame, lending a soul-stirring quality that resonates as deeply as the enthralling soundtrack itself. No wonder Reiki finds himself entirely stoked with the final result!

So, immerse yourself in this sonic and visual delight as the music video unfolds, led by the unparalleled talents of Crystal Chen and the creative genius of Reiki. It’s an experience that will leave you utterly captivated, energized, and yearning for more of their artistry!

Listen to Working Title and more of Reiki Ruawai below. 

Review by Caitlin Norris