Bic Runga

Bic Runga
Bic Runga

Bic Runga performing on the 2010 Winery Tour, in Auckland, New Zealand.
Background information
Birth name Briolette Kah Bic Runga
Born 13 January 1976 (1976-01-13) (age 35)
Origin Christchurch, New Zealand
Genres Pop, folk
Instruments Vocals, guitar, drums
Years active 1996–present
Labels SonyBMG New Zealand

Briolette Kah Bic Runga MNZM (born 13 January 1976) is a New Zealand pop recording artist whose first solo album, Drive, debuted at number one on the New Zealand RIANZ charts. She has since become one of the highest-selling New Zealand artists in recent history. Runga has also found success internationally in Australia, Ireland and to some extent in the UK.

In January 2006, the Queen made Runga a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Zealand New Year's Honours List.



"'You say it Bec, rather than Bic,' explains New Zealand singer-songwriter Bic Runga. 'It's Chinese, it's a strange vowel sound which doesn't seem to translate in Australia. It means the colour of jade, which might mean green.'"[1] The "strange vowel" is a checked tone. For the meaning of "colour of jade", Bic is "" in Chinese characters.[2]


Early life

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 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 learned to play the keyboard around this time. She attended Cashmere High School, joining high school bands and performing with local jazz groups by her mid-teens.

Musical career

Early releases

Runga and Kelly Horgan entered the 1993 smokefreerockquest in Christchurch under the name of "Love Soup". They won third place and a music contract with Pagan Records. Using a QE II Arts Council grant, Runga recorded the first Drive EP in Wellington. Unsatisfied with the direction that her music was being taken, she moved to Auckland in 1994 and spent a year writing and performing.

In 1995, she sent a new demo of "Drive" to Sony Music, who signed Runga in September of that year and bought her Wellington recordings from Pagan Records. Sony had her re-record the song with more instruments, but it was eventually her demo that was used on the upcoming album. It entered the Top 10 in New Zealand and won her the Silver Scroll Songwriting Award in 1996. She next released "Bursting Through", her first single from her upcoming album, also entitled Drive.

Drive (1997)

Early success eventually led to the release of her album Drive in 1997. Runga's song "Sway", along with a duet with Dan Wilson of Semisonic called "Good Morning Baby", both made their way into the film American Pie and Cruel Intentions. Six singles were released from the album, while "Sway" was released in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

Runga has recorded two songs called "Drive". The first was her own, which appeared on her debut album of the same name. The second was a 1999 collaboration with fellow New Zealanders Strawpeople, providing guest vocals for their cover of The Cars' classic 1984 hit.

Together in Concert: Live (2000)

In 2000, she toured with Tim Finn and Dave Dobbyn, resulting in a release of a live album of the tour.

Beautiful Collision (2002)

Runga released her second solo album, Beautiful Collision, in 2002. It entered the New Zealand charts at number one.

Birds (2005)

Her third studio album, Birds, was released in New Zealand on 28 November 2005. It was her third studio album in a row to enter the New Zealand charts at number one. The first single, "Winning Arrow", can be heard at her official site. Birds has currently gone triple platinum.

Try to Remember Everything (2008)

Released on 24 November 2008 in her native New Zealand, Try to Remember Everything contains 14 unique recordings. Three years on from the recording of Birds, Try to Remember Everything brings together a collection of unreleased, new and rare Bic Runga recordings from 1996 to 2008. The album was certified Gold in New Zealand on 14 December 2008, selling over 7,500 copies.[3][4]

My Wedding and Other Secrets (2011)

Bic contributed to the score and soundtrack to New Zealand filmmaker Roseanne Liang's debut feature film My Wedding and Other Secrets (2011). In addition to featuring "Say After Me" from Birds, the film also includes two unreleased tracks ("Hello, Goodbye" and "This Girl's Prepared for War") from Bic's forthcoming fourth album.

Belle (2011)

Belle is the fourth studio album to be released in November 2011.[5][6] The first track from the album 'Hello, Hello' was released as a free download in early September. Bic will tour New Zealand extensively in November and December.[7]

Personal life

Runga, born in New Zealand, has lived in New York for two years, Paris for a year, and London for a year. She has since returned home to New Zealand, where she lives with her son Joe, and partner Kody Nielson.


Studio albums

Year Album details Chart peak positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
1997 Drive 49 1
2002 Beautiful Collision
  • Second studio album
  • Released: 1 July 2002
  • Format: CD
41 1 55
2005 Birds
  • Third studio album
  • Released: 28 November 2005
  • Format: CD
26 1 154
2011 Belle
  • Fourth studio album
  • Released: 14 November 2011
  • Format: CD
- - -

Live albums


  • Drive "Lovesoup" EP (1995)
  • Live in Concert with the Christchurch Symphony EP (2004)


Year Title Chart positions Album
1996 "Drive" 7 Drive
"Bursting Through" 33
1997 "Sway" 10 7 93 26
"Suddenly Strange" 26
"Roll into One" 48
1998 "Hey"
1999 "Good Morning Baby" 15 Single-only
"Sorry" Drive
2002 "Get Some Sleep" 92 3 78 27 Beautiful Collision
"Something Good" 4 107
2003 "Listening for the Weather" 14
2005 "Winning Arrow" 23 Birds
2006 "Say After Me"
2011 "Hello Hello"


  • Bic Runga has made an alternative version of "Sway" for Even Better than the Real Thing Vol. 2.
  • Try to Remember Everything (2008) is a collection of B-sides, outtakes, demos and live tracks spanning 1996-2008. It also includes the original song "Everyone Must Love".

Film career

Runga played a 'Vietnamese lounge singer' in the 2005 film Little Fish, and covered Gene Pitney's "Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart".


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bic Runga — bei einem Konzert in Auckland, Neuseeland, 2010 Briolette Kah Bic Runga MNZM (* 13. Januar 1976 in Christchurch) ist eine Singer Songwriterin und eine der erfolgreichsten Musikerinnen Neuseelands. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bic Runga — Briolette Kah Bic Runga, né le 13 janvier 1976 à Christchurch, est une auteur compositeur interprète néo zélandaise. Discographie Drive (1997) dont le single Sway fait partie Together in Concert: Live (2000) avec …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Drive (Bic Runga album) — Drive Studio album by Bic Runga Released August 1997 (New Zealand) Recorded May 1997: Revolver Studios, Auckland, New Zealand, except: Drive , York Street Studios …   Wikipedia

  • Something Good (Bic Runga song) — Infobox Single Name = Something Good | Artist = Bic Runga from Album = Beautiful Collision Background = yellow Format = CD Released = 25 November 2002 (NZ) Recorded = Genre = Length = Label = Columbia Records Producer = Chart position = #4 (NZ… …   Wikipedia

  • Birds (Bic Runga album) — Infobox Album | Name = Birds Type = Album Artist = Bic Runga Released = November 28 2005 (New Zealand) Recorded = Monte Cecilia House, Auckland, New Zealand August / September 2005 Genre = Acoustic Pop Length = 44:37 Label = Sony / BMG Producer …   Wikipedia

  • Sway (Bic Runga song) — NOTOC Infobox Single Name = Sway | Artist = Bic Runga from Album = Drive Background = yellow Format = CD Released = May 1997 (New Zealand) Recorded = Genre = Length = Label = Columbia Records Producer = Chart position = #93 (UK Singles Chart)… …   Wikipedia

  • Sorry (Bic Runga song) — Infobox Single Name = Sorry | Artist = Bic Runga from Album = Drive Background = yellow Format = CD Released = 1999 (Australia) Recorded = Genre = Length = Label = Columbia Records Producer = Chart position = Last single = Hey This single = Sorry …   Wikipedia

  • BIC — or Bic may refer to:Acronyms*Bahá í International Community, a Bahá í agency with consultative status with the United Nations. *Bahrain International Circuit, a venue used for drag racing, GP2, and an annual Formula One Grand Prix. *Baltimore… …   Wikipedia

  • Runga — ist eine Ethnie in der Zentralafrikanischen Republik, siehe Runga (Volk) eine neuseeländische Sängerin und Liedermacherin, siehe Bic Runga Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben Wort bezeichneter Begriffe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Boh Runga — Infobox Musical artist Name = Boh Runga Img capt = Boh performing live in New Plymouth as the opening act for Bic Runga. Background = solo singer Birth name = Alias = Born = Died = Origin = Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand Instrument =… …   Wikipedia

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