“Dawn Raid” is a new documentary by filmmaker Oscar Kightley that tells the story of New Zealand’s acclaimed music label Dawn Raid Entertainment and its two founders, Andy Murnane and Brotha D. The film explores the history behind chart-topping hits including rifts between artists, unpaid tax debts, feelings of failure and betrayal, and the immeasurable musical legacy that was created in spite of this.
Co-Founder Andy Murnane recently discussed this documentary, Dawn Raid Entertainment, and more via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): Can you tell us how the documentary came about and how it feels to be able to share your story with the world?
Andy Murnane (AM): Well like all good indie Hip Hop Labels from America, we’ve been trying to make a movie for over 20 years, like Def Jam’s “The Show”, and Master P’s “Bout It, Bout it”, Motown standing in the shadows”, it was something we always wanted to do to show the New Zealand Urban experience, and we’ve been approached over the years by a number of film companies, what sealed the deal was two things, the Director Oscar Kightley (he’s like the Samoan Spike Lee) we knew with a fellow Samoan, he’d tell our story correctly, and two GFC Films told us, Universal Pictures would distribute it worldwide, we know not all films get picked up by Universal Pictures, so that let us know we’d be looked after correctly.
MM: Was the idea to make a documentary about Dawn Raid Entertainment on the cards for a while? How long did it take to complete it?
AM: We’ve been filming tours, backstage antics, studio sessions and the like since the 90s, so there was lots of archival footage to use, but from the time GFC Films came on board, about 2 years from start to finish…It was amazing experience, some super talented production crew, editors, all that good stuff.
MM: The film shows many achievements and some challenges for Dawn Raid Entertainment, reflecting back, what has been the most rewarding aspect of your journey so far?
AM: The Brotherhood, and the Journey with myself and Brotha D, two boys from South Auckland New Zealand with a Hip Hop dream to conquer America with Polynesian youth from our neighborhood, we are literally at the bottom of the world, it’s the “Annie” thing, a hard knock life, rags to riches from the other side of the globe.
MM: What do you want viewers to take away from “Dawn Raid”?
AM: Inspiration, chase your dreams and don’t listen to anyone but your own inner voice, if you believe you’ve got what it takes, take your shot! You might get there, you might not, but the journey. The journey, the ride, is what it’s all about.
MM: What are you currently working on and how can we follow you?
AM: Right now, we’re in Movie mode, we’re looking to do “Dawn Raid part 2.” We’re doing a catalogue deal for all our hits, we’re helping the community, and being good fathers! You can check us out at www.DawnRaidShop.com Instagram @Andy1979mgmt @brothaD247
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“Dawn Raid” is available now to rent or own, a list of platforms can be found here: