Kirk Harding Profile

Gareth Shute
11 Jul 2019

Kirk Harding has worked with some of the biggest names in New Zealand music during his career. He signed DLT, Che Fu, and Urban Pacifika to BMG in the 1990s and ran his own label MTC in the 2000s, which placed Smashproof at the top of the charts. He has spent the past two decades in New York working with some of the hottest acts in US hip hop and other genres.

Harding’s first job in the music industry was far from glamorous. He was a record store sales clerk at a retail chain. Harding had left Mangere College at 15 years old to take up an automotive machinist apprenticeship (learning to recondition engines), but he spent all his spare money buying records at the Sounds store on Queen Street. Here he made friends with one of the staff, Mike Morgan, and eventually asked him whether he might be able to get a job.

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Kirk Harding running a signing session by Skid Row at a Sounds store.
Photo credit: Kirk Harding collection
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Kirk Harding (centre) with Thurston Moore and Steve Shelley from Sonic Youth at Auckland radio station 95bFM, early 90s.
Photo credit: Kirk Harding collection
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1994 platinum award time - Supergroove with BMG staffers at the back, Dave Jordan, Stuart Broughton (Supergroove manager), Diana Schnauer, Kirk Harding.
Photo credit: Stuart Broughton Collection
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Kirk Harding and Grammy award winning producer Rick Rubin.
Photo credit: Kirk Harding collection
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Kirk Harding with rap artist IDK and Jason Kpana from music service Tidal.
Photo credit: Kirk Harding collection
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Rapper-producer Yeek, Mathew Baus (Harding’s partner in Bad Habit), Kirk Harding and Kish Kash.
Photo credit: Kirk Harding collection
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The trio at the heart of SRC: Gaby Acevedo, Steve Rifkind and Kirk Harding.
Photo credit: Kirk Harding collection
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Sounds manager Mike Morgan with Kirk Harding. 
Photo credit: Kirk Harding collection
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Kirk Harding’s first day in New York City, with Sol Guy and Tex Lacroix.
Photo credit: Kirk Harding collection
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Kirk Harding in 2018 with Chris Mack from Loud Records.
Photo credit: Kirk Harding collection
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Kirk Harding with a backdrop of Bad Habit artists.
Photo credit: Jessie English
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Andy Murnane from Dawn Raid and Kirk Harding (in sunglasses) with their families in New York.
Photo credit: Kirk Harding collection
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Kirk Harding (centre) at a Sounds store signing with Jim Martin and Mike Patton from Faith No More.
Photo credit: Kirk Harding collection
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Kirk Harding (right) with Virgin EMI president Ted Cockle and recording artist Erykah Badu.
Photo credit: Kirk Harding collection
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Jesse Rutherford from The Neighbourhood with Kirk Harding.
Photo credit: Justin Bettman
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Kirk Harding with DJ Set Free and Lyor Cohen, a music industry veteran with leadership roles at Def Jam and Warner Music Group.
Photo credit: Kirk Harding collection
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Sir-Vere (Phil Bell) photographed on the day his son was born, enjoying a cigar with Kirk Harding.
Photo credit: Kirk Harding collection
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Kirk Harding.
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Backstage photo of Jesse Rutherford from The Neighbourhood with Kirk Harding.
Photo credit: Justin Bettman
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Kirk Harding and Move the Crowd at the CMJ festival.
Photo credit: Kirk Harding collection
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Kirk Harding with a backdrop of Bad Habit artists.
Photo credit: Jessie English
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Labels:

BMG


Loud Records


SRC


Move the Crowd


Universal-Motown

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Trivia:

When the Urban Pacifika Records label excerpted Phil Fuemana’s chapter from the book Hip Hop Music In Aotearoa on their website in 2006, it included a special message Phil had typed at the bottom of the document: “Kirk has always been 100% supportive and he’s still pulling favors for the d-raid clique today ... u the man Kirk ... love u dude!!”

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