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So I have to admit, when I first was trying to tee up
this interview, I kept referring to you as Ta-Ku instead
of Reggie – as if that was your actual name. Does that
happen to you a lot?
Yeah, definitely, I think especially for those people that
don’t really know me. It does feel weird – if any one of my
close friends call me that I definitely cringe a little bit.
Where did the name Ta-Ku come from?
My dad’s from New Zealand, he’s Maori, and there’s
a Maori word ‘Ta-Ku’. It actually means ‘me-myself’, so
it just kind of made sense. And I liked the way the letters
looked, and the hyphen – if you don’t have the hyphen
it’s Japanese. It just stuck.
Was it weird for you, becoming famous through
the internet? On the other side of the world, you
have die-hard fans, but in your hometown of Perth
people might not know who you are.
Definitely, but I think I’d rather have it that way. Being
the face of something can be a bit hectic sometimes,
especially walking around, like at a gig where there are
a lot of like-minded people. I think the internet is a bit
of a safety net. Not that I’m saying people are monsters
or anything (laughs), but I like my privacy and I tend to
like my own space. I think the internet is a good tool for
anyone who wants to get a product out there without
actually having to be out there all the time.
Songs To Break Up To is a very evocative title for
your album. What was the backstory?
To cut a long story short, I had my heart broken and
for anyone out there who has had their heart broken or
experienced the end of a relationship – of anything, it could
He’s one of the best beatmakers in the world right now, but Regan ‘Ta-Ku’ Matthews wouldn’t dream of leaving little
old Perth, where he makes music in his bedroom and is part-owner in barbershop Westons. We chat to him about
being an introvert who manages a high profile, his break-up soundtrack, and the beard he would never touch.
Interview by Anna Christensen
be losing a loved one in death, or just loss in general – it can
kind of freeze you. You can seize up and not really function
properly. Songs To Break Up To, for me, was part of the
healing process. I knowingly and consciously tried to figure
move on, and that’s where the tracks came from, in that order.
Was creating those tracks quite cathartic?
It was. It was pretty hard, starting, because the last thing
I felt like doing was listening to music, let alone making it.
But it’s funny how the creative process went along. When
I was about halfway through making the EP and doing the
final tracks, I was feeling really enlightened and I could
feel myself slowly healing. That was really surreal to be
experiencing that, like in real time, and then documenting
it through music. It’s hands-down my most favourite project
I’ve ever done, for more reasons than one.
Were there any other songs you’d listen to in the process?
Yeah... (laughs) You have those ones you listen to so you can
called Air? – their song Alone in Kyoto would be one of those
ones that would really put me under.
It’s so dreamy and sad...
Yeah. Another one is Sebastien Tellier’s La Ritournelle. It’s
funny because I’d always listen to that one and get a bit
teary, and then it was in a Gillette ad! So every time that ad
would come on I’d have to walk out the room.
“Being the face of something can be
a bit hectic sometimes... I like my
privacy and I tend to like my own space.”
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