Band pushes new tal­ent, and te reo

The Hutt News - - WHAT’S ON - MATTHEWTSO

Grove Roots founder Noel Woods says his band is all about nur­tur­ing new tal­ent and nor­mal­is­ing te reo Ma¯ori.

The Lower Hutt band has been nom­i­nated for four awards at the 2017 Wa­iata Ma¯ori Mu­sic Awards which will be held in Hast­ings on September 15.

Woods said it was great to be recog­nised along side other mu­si­cians who were pas­sion­ate about pro­mot­ing te reo.

Grove Roots are fi­nal­ists in the best Ma¯ori tra­di­tional al­bum, best Ma¯ori ur­ban roots/reg­gae al­bum, best song by a Ma¯ori artist and best Ma¯ori song­writer cat­e­gories.

He said it would be great to come away with an award or two but the band was up against some very good mu­si­cians.

‘‘We’re up against some stiff com­pe­ti­tion. [The other nom­i­nated artists] are lead­ing the way for Ma¯ori mu­sic. We might just be go­ing up there for a free feed.’’

De­spite hav­ing been around since 2005, Grove Roots have only re­cently re­leased their first al­bum, Hikoikoi.

The band has had two num­ber one sin­gles, Tau Hou Maori and Te Kura, on the Ma¯ori mu­sic charts this year.

Woods, the drum­mer, writes most of the songs and pro­duces the mu­sic him­self. He is the only found­ing mem­ber still ac­tive in the band.

A ro­tat­ing ros­ter of mu­si­cians play in the band and Woods thought about 45 peo­ple had been in­volved over the years.

‘‘It’s like a com­mu­nity or waka. Peo­ple can jump on and off when they like. They can go and do their own thing when­ever they like.‘‘

Most of Grove Roots’ songs are sung in te reo and they play a mix of hip-hop, reg­gae, rhythm and blues, and soul.

Woods sees the band as a small part of a greater move­ment to pro­mote te reo and has big am­bi­tions for the fu­ture.

‘‘We want to nor­malise Ma¯ori mu­sic so peo­ple aren’t afraid to play it loud. We want to take Ma¯ori mu­sic to the world!’’

He even­tu­ally wants to add el­e­ments of kapa haka and theatre to the mu­sic and could see Grove Roots per­form­ing at fes­ti­vals such as WOMAD.

A re­cent line-up of Grove Roots’ con­stantly chang­ing mem­bers. From left, Noel Woods, drums, Sianne Dougherty, vo­cals, and Neha Gate, gui­tar.

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