Helmed by Shihad frontman Jon Toogood, THE ADULTS is an untethered, rotating-cast collective of New Zealand musicians.
For the ensemble’s first incarnation, Toogood worked with a suite of local favourites including Shayne Carter (Straightjacket Fits / Dimmer), Anika Moa, Tiki Taane, Ladi6, Warren Maxwell (Trinity Roots / Little Bushman), Ruban and Kody Nielson (The Mint Chicks, Unknown Mortal Orchestra) and Julia Deans to create 2011’s critically acclaimed self-titled studio album, as well as a live album with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.
A few years later, Toogood began seeking ideas for the Adults’ second manifestation – striking inspiration when during his wedding in Khartoum he encountered the Sudanese folk music Aghani-Al-Banat (literal translation: “girls music”), which is performed exclusively by women.
Toogood teed up a recording session with a Khartoum-based, all-female group of musicians – the results of which were forged into the bones of the sophomore Adults album “HAJA” (an Arabic word, respectfully meaning an older, wiser woman) with the help of producer Devin Abrams (Pacific Heights, Shapeshifter).
Released in 2018, the joyous and boundary-defying “HAJA” includes collaborations with a diverse cast of fresh local talent, including rappers JessB, Raiza Biza and Kings, and vocalists Estère, Chelsea Jade, Aaradhna and Miloux.