Bic Runga performing on the 2010 Winery Tour, in Auckland, New Zealand.
|Briolette Kah Bic Runga|
|Born||13 January 1976|
|Origin||Christchurch, New Zealand|
|Genres||Pop rock, folk rock|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, drums|
|Labels||Sony New Zealand|
Briolette Kah Bic Runga MNZM (born 13 January 1976), recording as Bic Runga, is a New Zealand singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist pop artist. Her first three studio albums debuted at number one on the New Zealand Top 40 Album charts. Runga has also found success internationally in Australia, Ireland and the United Kingdom with her song "Sway".
Runga was born in Christchurch. Her mother, Sophia Tang, was a Chinese Malaysian lounge singer in Malaysia when she met Joseph Runga, a M?ori. They moved to New Zealand to live. Runga is of Ng?ti Kahungunu descent. Regarding her name, she explains: "'You say it Bec, rather than Bic. ... It's Chinese, it's a strange vowel sound which doesn't seem to translate in Australia. It means the colour of jade, which might mean green.'" The "strange vowel" is a checked tone. For the meaning of "colour of jade", Bic is " ?" in Chinese characters.
Runga grew up in Hornby, Christchurch surrounded by a musically-inclined family, and started recording songs with her sisters, Boh and Pearl, when she was four years old. Runga's older sister Boh was the vocalist in the New Zealand rock group Stellar, while Pearl is a session singer.
She learnt how to play drums at the age of eleven, and guitar at about fourteen. Runga also learned to play the keyboard around this time. She attended Cashmere High School, joining high school bands and performing with local jazz groups by her mid-teens.
Under the name of "Love Soup", Runga and Kelly Horgan entered the 1993 Smokefreerockquest in Christchurch, winning third place and a music contract with Pagan Records. Using a QE II Arts Council grant, Runga recorded the first Drive EP in Wellington. Unsatisfied with the direction that her music was being taken, she moved to Auckland in 1994 and spent a year writing and performing.
In 1995, she sent a new demo of "Drive" to Sony Music, who signed Runga in September of that year and bought her Wellington recordings from Pagan Records. Sony had her re-record the song with more instruments, but it was eventually her demo that was used on the upcoming album. It entered the Top 10 in New Zealand and won her the APRA Silver Scroll award in 1996.
Runga then released "Bursting Through", the first single from her upcoming album, also entitled Drive. The success of the singles led to the release of her debut album, Drive, in 1997. Runga's song "Sway", along with a duet with Dan Wilson of Semisonic called "Good Morning Baby", were used in the films American Pie, and Cruel Intentions. Six singles were released from the album, while "Sway" was released in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Germany.
Runga has recorded two songs called "Drive". The first was her own, which appeared on her debut album of the same name. The second was a 1999 collaboration with fellow New Zealanders Strawpeople, providing guest vocals for their cover of The Cars' classic 1984 hit.
In 2000, Runga toured with Tim Finn and Dave Dobbyn, resulting in a release of a live album in November 2000, titled Together in Concert: Live. It peaked at number 2 on the New Zealand charts and has been certified 3x platinum. Runga released her second solo album, Beautiful Collision in 2002. It entered the New Zealand charts at number one and has been certified 10x platinum in New Zealand.
Her third studio album, Birds, was released in New Zealand on 28 November 2005. New Zealand artists Neil Finn (piano) and Anika Moa (backing vocals) contributed to the album. The first single, "Winning Arrow", was released on the same day. It was her third consecutive studio album to enter the New Zealand charts at number one. Birds was certified triple platinum.
Runga played a 'Vietnamese lounge singer' in the 2005 film Little Fish, and covered Gene Pitney's "Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart" for the soundtrack. In 2006, Runga was honoured with the New Zealand Order of Merit.
In November 2008, Runga released Try to Remember Everything which is a collection of unreleased, new and rare Bic Runga recordings from 1996 to 2008. The album was certified Gold in New Zealand on 14 December 2008, selling over 7,500 copies.
Runga contributed to the score and soundtrack to New Zealand filmmaker Roseanne Liang's debut feature film My Wedding and Other Secrets (2011). In addition to featuring "Say After Me" from Birds, the film also included two tracks ("Hello Hello" and "This Girl's Prepared for War") from her fourth album Belle.
In October 2016, it was announced that Runga would release an album of consisting of ten covers and two original tracks titled Close Your Eyes. "Close Your Eyes" was released on 14 October 2016 as a single. In November 2016, Runga was inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame. Recorded Music CEO Damian Vaughan said "Bic is one of our most loved and treasured recording artists, her songs are instantly recognisable and have been part of the fabric of New Zealand for more than 20 years. We're honoured to present Bic with the 2016 Legacy Award and induct her into the NZ Music Hall of Fame".
|1996||Rising Star Award||herself||Nominated|
|Most Promising Female Vocalist||herself||Won|
|1997||Single of the Year||unknown||Nominated|
|Best Female Vocalist||herself||Won|
|Best Songwriter||herself for "Busting Through"||Nominated|
|1998||Album of the Year||Drive||Won|
|Single of the Year||"Sway"||Won|
|Best Female Vocalist||herself for "Sway"||Won|
|Best Video||Wayne Conway for Runga's "Suddenly Strange"||Nominated|
|Best Engineer||Simon Sheridan for Runga's "Sway"||Won|
|Best Songwriter||Bic Runga's "Sway"||Won|
|Best Cover||Wayne Conway for Runga's Drive||Won|
|1999||International Achievement||Bic Runga||Won|
|2000||International Achievement||Bic Runga||Won|
|2001||Album of the Year||Tim Finn, Dave Dobbyn & Bic Runga Together in Concert: Live||Nominated|
|2003||Album of the Year||Beautiful Collision||Nominated|
|Single of the Year||"Get Some Sleep"||Nominated|
|Best Female Vocalist||Bic Runga Beautiful Collision||Won|
|Best Solo Artist||Bic Runga Beautiful Collision||Won|
|Best Music Video||Chris Graham and Bic Runga for Runga's "Something Good"||Nominated|
|Highest Selling New Zealand Album||Beautiful Collision||Won|
|Producer of the Year||Bic Runga Beautiful Collision||Won|
|2003||Best Female Solo Artist||Live in Concert||Nominated|
|Highest Selling New Zealand Album||Beautiful Collision||Nominated|
|International Achievement||Bic Runga||Nominated|
|2006||Album Of The Year||Birds||Won|
|Single of the Year||"Winning Arrow"||Nominated|
|Best Female Solo Artist||Bic Runga Birds||Won|
|Best Producer||Bic Runga Birds||Won|
|Peoples Choice Award||herself||Nominated|
|Best Engineer||Andre Upston for Runga's Birds||Won|
|2012||Best Pop Album||Belle||Nominated|
|Best Producer||Kody Nielson for "Belle"||Nominated|
|2016||New Zealand Music Hall of Fame||herself||Won|