In the Summer of 1971 Terepai Richmond was born to a Scottish Father and Polynesian Mother in the beachside suburb of Coogee. The eclectic and at times eccentric cultural upbringing, with it’s roots firmly found in music that unfolded, could be partly responsible for Terepai’s two great passions; music and surfing. His first gig was in his parent’s Polynesian band at the age of 6. Perched on a chair on the front of the stage he banged on a set of bongos ‘til the ripe old age of 7. He was then promoted to the drum kit from which he has forged his career and standing as one of Australia's best drummers, ever since.
Through the early years he played a mix of styles and learnt many of the traditional rhythms of the south pacific. Fresh out of high school he started his touring career after joining the modern soul/funk band Bellydance and also funk outfit Swoop. A couple years on and many funk grooves later Terepai co-founded acid jazz band D.I.G. This was where he really made his mark on the music scene. Writing and recording on multiple ARIA award winning albums. From the early ‘90's Terepai also started work as a studio/session drummer and has played with many of Australia’s biggest names, creating the rhythm for such artists as The Whitlams, Missy Higgins, Savage Garden, Guy Sebastian, Delta Goodrem, PNAU, Natalie Imbruglia, Pete Murray, Katie Noonan, Tina Arena, Wes Carr, iOta, Wendy Mathews, King Tide, Professor Groove, Max Sharam, Andy Clockwise, James Blundell, Adam Brand, Melinda Schneider, Multiball, the list goes on. In recent years he has also played with International artists such as Brett Dennan, Hawksley Workman, Serena Ryder David Ryan Harris and Soul Decision. And supporting acts such as The Roots, Ben Folds, Julian Casablancas (The Strokes), Blue Rodeo and again the list goes on.
Meanwhile, all the time finding as much if not more time to surf as work, Terepai learned early on that the pace and intensity of competitive surfing wasn't for him. Instead, he yearned for a more intense ride and started exploring the reef breaks in and around Cronulla and its surrounds. These days Terepai is regarded as one of the best big wave surfers in Cronulla and even Australia. Choosing to remain fairly low key in his surfing profile it is rare to capture his moments on film but he has made the cut in several surfing films over the years and has appeared in many surfing magazines and books. Terepai has recently released a new album with D.I.G. The album is called Clearlight and is available on the ABC label. Currently writing for his solo recording project and also on the road for Guy Sebatian's 2013 Get Along tour. Stay tuned!
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