Known professionally as Mu, Chris Faiumu has been a pivotal player in the Wellington music scene for over two decades and the key innovator behind an identifiably unique sound that attracts a global audience. He has also helped change the way musicians deliver music to their audience.
A first-generation Samoan-New Zealander from Wainuiomata, Mu first arrived on the Wellington scene in 1991 as part of the legendary DJ collective Roots Foundation, which also included Koa Williams, Danny Lemon, Goosebump and Marek.
Mu started Fat Freddy’s Drop in the late 1990s, initially with singer Dallas Tamaira and later trumpeter Toby Laing as a loose jamming outfit which grew out of his DJ sets, eventually picking up more members from other Wellington outfits like Ebb, Bongmaster and Trinity Roots. Laing was in 18 bands around that time, including The Black Seeds, but shifted his main focus to Fat Freddy’s, as did a number of other band members.
Live, Fat Freddy’s Drop don’t use a drummer, relying instead on the rhythms crafted by Mu from his Akai MPC sampler. Mu is responsible for the band’s sound, mixing them live from the stage, and also producing their studio recordings in his well-equipped home studio. He studied audio engineering at Tai Poutini Polytech in Greymouth.
Ouside the Freddy's crew, Mu has also produced releases by Rio Hemopo, Ladi6, Brother J, and Flowz, amongst others, and engineered Chris Tubbs' 2003 album Good Days, Better Nights.
Mu and Dallas Tamaira also record as Joe Dukie And DJ Fitchie, most notably on the 2002 single ‘Midnight Marauders’, the 2004 track ‘This Room’ and the 2005 EP Seconds, although the line between the duo and Fat Freddy’s Drop is somewhat blurred.
Mu in the early 1990s
John Pell collection
Mu at Roundhead Studios, Auckland, iTunes Sessions, 2014
Photo by Mark Williams
Mu and Akakoa “Koa” Williams
John Pell collection
Mu with his MPC
Photo by Nick Kingstone
Groove Guide, May 2010
Mu at the 2008 MPC Championship
Fat Freddys Drop DJ Mu and Dallas on Tagata Pasifika TVNZ