Of European decent, Miss French was born in New Zealand to a musical family who fortunately decided to quit the rat race and move to Laingholm, a place with beaches, bush and lots of space in the Waitakere ranges. Here she would immerse herself in the magical world of native New Zealand bush, a world of day dreams and adventures. Her father, a jazz enthusiast, was not only a player of many instruments including trumpet and double bass, but he built instruments. Performing with the family at 10 years of age and later in Auckland bands, influenced by Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Billy Holiday and Joan Armatrading, she began writing songs from her own unique perspective. Teaming up with Opetaia Foai in her early twenties, the “Duo with a difference” performed for several years before founding Te Vaka in 1994.