Track 1: Prelude
I first bumped into Paora Apera (aka P. Digsss) at Crankworx 2018. He was on the sidelines with a big grin, a beer in one hand and a phone filming the action in the other. He was stoking on the action, and to say he’s into riding is a bloody understatement. The front man of one of NZ’s biggest bands has the same energy for riding as he does for music. I approached him and asked if we could do a story on him, his riding and of course his time with Shapeshifter. We yarned, sipped beer, hung for a while and swapped numbers. I was struck by what a humble guy he was.
We kept in contact after this, and to be honest I had to pinch myself whenever a text message came through from him. I’m a massive fan of both him and Shapeshifter, as is my wife, and she was super excited I was developing a ‘bromance’ with P. Digsss. We talked about a few different ride options that could best articulate his love for riding and music. He asked me to join a trip riding the Old Ghost Road. This was Rockstar status as it would involve a helicopter ride. This seemed like the ideal opportunity to ride one of NZ’s most iconic trails with the front man of one of NZ’s most popular bands.
As you can imagine, his life is busy with recordings, rehearsals, radio interviews and playing some big gigs around the country and world. Shapeshifter has an energetic electronic sound, and they are known for their live shows and blend of heavy soul with drum and bass. To date Shapeshifter have dropped six full albums, a couple of EPs and many singles, with a scattering of awards and charting successes along the way. The band formed in 1999 and P Digsss joined the group in the 2003. Since then they have worked hard to become a staple of the kiwi summer, a household name in Aotearoa and recognised globally.
Main Tracks: 2 – 4
Whilst riding the Old Ghost Road we had an opportunity to talk in the huts that are scattered across the trail. I noticed instantly, P. Digsss always had music playing or was singing whilst he was riding along – his enthusiasm was infectious. You can clearly see his music