Real name Joshua Nanai, the teenage producer is from South Auckland, New Zealand and is about to pass 400,000 UK sales for his former No.1 single Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat). The track has 236,095,841 Spotify plays.
Released in collaboration with Jason Derulo – who was one of several celebrities to dance to Nanai’s beat on TikTok – the song came out via RCA in the UK, as the Sony label capitalised on its viral success.
“I saw it on TikTok when it was at about 60,000 views, I started telling my brother that I was seeing the numbers go real quick,” Nanai told Music Week in our recent On The Radar interview.
“I wasn’t a big TikTok person, I only got the app a month or two before the song started popping,” he said. “I didn’t care about it, I thought TikTok was a sort of cringey app and I didn’t think too much of it, I got it and started watching random videos come up.”
“There’s heaps of music on there, it’s good because you’ve got a lot of people dancing on there,” he said. “It depends if the song is catching or not, you can get someone really big, or a random song that just blows up because everyone follows the tune. People follow a trend of a song and you can blow up easily and the artist gets known. The thing with mine is, I was excited that I actually saw people like my song and it wasn’t just adding up because it was a trend.”
Nanai, who initially used to YouTube to upload and listen to music, confessed to having limited knowledge of other platforms, too.
“At the time I didn’t know anything about Spotify and all that,” he said. “I didn’t know you could spread it out and have it on all platforms, licensing and that. I only knew YouTube, all my friends and my mates used YouTube, so that was basically all I knew.”
As for his own musical tastes, Nanai said he’s into “a bit of everything, R&B, rock, old school, rap, drill, and most of all island music”.
Read the full Jawsh 685 interview online here.