10 things to know about jimmy mac aka scuba diva

We got the 411 on the only child Taurean from Auckland who plays keys for Lorde and creates deep wavy joints equal parts 'Scuba' and 'Diva'.

by Courtney DeWitt
15 October 2015, 7:42am

Imogen Wilson

Scuba Diva is Jimmy Mac, the New Zealand born and bred musical whizkid raised by a Kiwi jazz trombonist father and a Singaporean conductor mother who taught himself to play drums at age five. After successfully auditioning for Ella Yelich-O'Connor's band, that's pop goddess Lorde to you and I, Jimmy toured the globe, got married in Vegas and is now currently back in Auckland making music under the perfectly apt moniker, Scuba Diva. Set to play Laneway Festival in 2016 Scuba Diva is best described as a 'percussive underwater Herbie Hancock wet dream'. I-D pal Imogen Wilson snapped Jimmy in his lab as we asked him to tell us 10 things you should know about the next fire act from New Zealand:

1. Jimmy and Nelly had a fight over Nothing Was the Same.
"I once got in an argument with Nelly about the length of Drake's album. I went to the roof of our hotel and I sat down in between Nelly and Ali from Tribe Called Quest, they were talking about how much they loved the Drake record and I'd just had a conversation about how I thought there was too many filler tracks and was saying he didn't need to put them on there. We debated this for a while, but they ended up liking me and we shared a cigar."

2. He had a severe moment of 'what's the point?" over his track What's the Point?
When I heard the 1st mix of my song What's the Point? I cried and went to bed because I thought my voice was shit and it was louder than I anticipated in the mix."

3. Jimmy eloped to Vegas with his wife Emma.
"I got married in Las Vegas after a show I was playing at the Cosmopolitan hotel to my wife Emma, who I met in New York a couple of months before. Both our parents were still in New Zealand but they got takeaways and streamed it together."

4. Nerves take up a good portion of his day.
I feel nervous for about 3 hours minimum everyday. Thinking about performing to people and wondering what would happen if I fuck up."

5. Lorde hired him to be her piano man but he's a fully fledged drummer boy at heart.
"I'm firstly a drummer, I spent my whole life playing drums. I even auditioned for Ella on drums, but then got a phone call saying you got the gig on keys. Still don't know if that was an admin error."

6. Scuba Diva is not Jimmy's only musical alias.
"I wrote a full electronic album under the name Only Child but I never released it. I still want to though."

7. He has a case of 'only child syndrome'.
" I'm an only child and I got hassled about that a lot on tour. Anytime I wanted something, someone would yell out, "only child". Usually my friend Amber."

8. Bath salts are number 1 on his Santa wish list.
"Having a bath and going to the supermarket are a couple of my favorite things to do. I genuinely hope for bath salts this Christmas and I like looking in people's trolleys."

9. Jimmy is equal parts #thuglyf and #huglyf.
"I got a tattoo inside my mouth that said thug life, but the 't' has kind of worn off so it just says hug life. But watever, I hug life."

10. 2015 was a year of discovering that he is allergic to EVERYTHING!
"I saw a naturopath this year and she did a genetic test on me and found out I'm intolerant to wheat, barley, rye, peanuts, chilli, potatoes, cayenne pepper, red pepper, eggplant, soya and dairy - I kind of just eat almonds now. I'm most upset about not being able to eat blue cheese." 



Photography Imogen Wilson

Scuba Diva
Jimmy Mac
10 things to know