Looping the loop, live

19:05, Jan 27 2013
Loop-de-loop: Mihirangi aka Queen of the Loops, and a finalist in TVNZ’s NZ’s Got Talent, is playing at the Secret Garden bar in Blenheim on Friday

Multi-tasking comes naturally for live looper Mihirangi, who can emulate the sound of five instruments - all in one go.

The Kiwi musician, also known as the Queen of the Loops, brings her unique multi-instrumental sound and nationwide tour to Blenheim's Secret Garden bar this Friday.

While Mihirangi sings and plays keyboard, percussion and loops herself, a drummer had been enlisted on her nationwide summer tour to add to the "dynamics" of her sound.

Live looping involves layering short sections of different music such as beats, drums and samples and constantly repeating it throughout a song.

"You press record, play into the machine and play it back," she said. "Then you record over that with something else, so what you're doing is creating layers.

"You have to be on time and be in tune, and that's the art of it."


Mihirangi's interest in music began at an early age. Her parents were professional musicians.

Her first foray into live looping began about 10 years ago, after a member of her Melbourne-based 12-piece funk-fusion band brought a loop pedal along to a gig.

She spent about a day reading the manual.

"After that I literally couldn't get off the machine. I was on it for hours."

Mihirangi re-wrote all her songs, disbanded the band due to the cost and logistical difficulties of touring with other musicians, and set out on her own as a live looper.

Crowd-pleaser performances formed the basis of her gigs, she said. "I have a formula but at the end of the day, I throw out that formula and listen to how I think and feel about what's going on in the audience. It's like being a DJ - you've got to listen to the feel of the room."

Mihirangi has toured the world five times in the past seven years and performed at more than 50 international festivals.

Mihirangi plays the Secret Garden bar in Blenheim on Friday as part of a nationwide tour to celebrate the release of her second album, Somebody Shake The Tree.

Tickets $20, click to purchase tickets.

The Marlborough Express