Regarding the pronunciation of “Bic”: “You say it Bec, rather than Bic”, she explains. “It’s Chinese, it’s a strange vowel sound which doesn’t seem to translate in English. It means the colour of jade, which I suppose is just green.”
Runga was born in Christchurch. Her mother, Sophia Tang, was a Chinese Malaysian lounge singer in Malaysia when she met Joseph Runga, a Māori soldier on leave from Vietnam. They both moved to New Zealand to live.
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 only four years old. Runga’s older sister Boh is now a vocalist in the New Zealand rock group stellar*, while Pearl is a session singer.
She learned how to play drums at the age of eleven, and guitar at about fourteen. Runga also learnt to play the keyboard at around this time. She attended Cashmere High School, joining high school bands and performing with local jazz groups by her mid-teens.
* “Bursting Through” (1996)
* “Sway” (1997) #10 Australia #1 Ireland (re-issue Ireland in 2004 went to #26)
* “Suddenly Strange” (1997)
* “Roll into One” (1997)
* “Hey” (1998)
* “Sorry” (1999)
* “Get Some Sleep” (2002) #75 United Kingdom #3 New Zealand #27 Ireland
* “Something Good” (2002) #4 New Zealand
* “Listening for the Weather” (2003) #14 New Zealand
* “Winning Arrow” (2005) #23 New Zealand
* “Say After Me” (2006)
Edited by Tedtrivia on 14 Mar 2012, 17:53
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