Musician Diggy Dupé is part of the exciting wave of creative talents who make up Auckland’s hip hop community, reclaiming the Polynesian history of Tāmaki Makaurau’s increasingly gentrified inner city suburbs.
His debut EP, released in 2017, was titled K.O.T.I.C (Kids of the City), with his first full album That’s Me, That’s Team released in 2020. Last year co-created the soundtrack for the must-watch local series The Panthers, about the activist group Polynesian Panthers in the 1970s fighting against racist Dawn Raids that targeted Pasifika families living in the central suburbs (he also featured as the show’s narrator).
It was close to home for Dupé, who has lived in central Auckland his entire life, with a family home in Arch Hill/Grey Lynn. Right now he lives around Mt Albert but “you can still spot me around the way”. That history and connection informs his music.
“I put all these little easter eggs in every song about things that are so Grey Lynn, that you would only know if you walk through it, or you can smell it,” he told The Spinoff earlier this year. “Like you can close your eyes and listen to it and you’re just right there at the shops.”
The musician is set to perform songs from The Panthers soundtrack with friends as part of Elemental Nights at the Elemental AKL cultural festival on Thursday, July 28. Buy tickets to what will be a memorable evening of culture and community here.
What’s so great about where you live?
Everything’s so close! Dom Road is a hop and a skip, Ponsonby is like a $7 Uber and if I need to shoot out of central, the motorways are right there.
Favourite place for a drink - and what is that drink?
I’ve got too many. PSC [Ponsonby Social Club] or East Street Hall whenever the boys are playing, Hoppers on a Sunday for live jazz, Saint Alice during sunset, YKTV. Basically anywhere that has Grey Goose.
Best place for breakfast?
I’m not a breakfast person but the Portuguese tarts from Dear Jane in Mount Albert go hard. Or if I’m up for it, I’ll get a steak and cheese with jalapeño from Boston Bakery at the Mt Albert shops. I’m a sucker for a good old ‘hood bakery.
Where do you get your morning coffee - and what’s your coffee order?
Tbh, the only time I drink coffee is when it’s an espresso martini, haha. I’m a big ass kid so I’ll grab a hot chocolate with soy milk and marshmallows. Anywhere besides Maccas, that shit’s mostly sugar and all ass.
The restaurant you’ve been going to for years?
Mount Albert BBQ Noodle House since I was a teen. Way back before they split, when it was pink and run down. Chilli pepper squid wit’ duck sauce on the side of iiiit, IYKYK.
Favourite restaurant to visit with friends?
Grand Park in Epsom. Usually on a Saturday or Sunday.
For something fancy?
For ultra fancy I’d go with Onslow. Those small treats to start with are crazy good, then get the lamb to share and whatever else. It’s pretty much a no lose situation. Casual fancy would be Oyster & Chop. Share the tomahawk and get the king prawns instead of the lobster tail. Honest to g, it’s better and cheaper too.
Best ‘cheap eat’?
Xi’an Food Bar Mt Albert. Hand-pulled hot and spicy beef with extra noodles. No lie I’ll get it like twice a week. It’s like $13 so why not?
Brunch on a Sunday: where would we find you?
Honestly? Yum cha lol - I need my weekly chicken feet fix.
Favourite place for date night?
Ponsonby Food Court, for when you can’t decide on a specific cuisine.
Your regular supermarket?
Countdown. They’ve got this certain type of dog food that Kazu eats, he’s honestly the fussiest kid I know so we have to go out of our way to get it.
Where do you go for ‘special’, non-supermarket food or drink?
Lims. The veggies are usually cheaper than your bigwig supermarkets and you can get my favourite drink there too, Mogu Mogu grape juice. For real, grab one next time you’re hungover, it does wonders.
Favourite place for live music?
The Powerstation. The upper floor has the best views.
Where do you go when you’re after local art or design?
The Mercury Plaza on Cross Street. Or I’d reach out to the artists directly through IG.
Where do you go for some relaxation?
Meola Reef Dog Park.
Best kept shopping secret?
Mangere Town Centre. Not much of a secret just underrated.
Favourite clothing store that never lets you down?
Where do you go for a workout?
I run a lot so I’ll be out on the roads. If you ever see me out here dragging my feet - mind ya businessss.
If someone was visiting your neighbourhood for the first time, what’s the one place you would recommend they visit?
Grey Lynn Festival so they can get a feel for the culture.