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Newbies 'Origin Roots Aotearoa' To Release Debut Music Video - 'Home/ūkaipō'

This summer's anthem is about to be released by new Rotorua band 'Origin Roots Aotearoa'.

Luke Whaanga (Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Porou) is the lead singer and founding member of Origin Roots Aotearoa (ORA). Luke came to national attention in 2004 when he auditioned for Season 1 of NZ Idol. He went on to sing in NZ Reggae band Tomorrow People. "I took a break from the big stage for a while," he said, "but I'm really excited to be singing with a band again and can't wait to share our new music video for Home / Ūkaipō on our Facebook page this Friday, the 2nd of October at 5pm."

The single explores the concept of 'home' and the music video was shot entirely on location in Rotorua at Whakarewarewa Village, featuring ORA and singers from Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao.

Origin Roots Aotearoa is a collaboration between six talented Māori creatives with a strong passion and love for music. They came together quite organically but from the very first note they played, they have felt like it was meant to be. They are eager to record their first EP, which will be released just in time for what they hope will be a busy summer. Warmer weather after winter lockdowns means summer events and the band cannot wait to begin performing their original songs live for their growing fan base. Their first gig is at Owhango Hotel on Saturday, 10th of October at 8pm.

The band members are AJ Moke (Ngāti Whakaue) on drums, Eugene Temara (Tūhoe, Raukawa, Waikato, Te Arawa) on keyboards and backing vocals, Jeamal Murray (Ngāi Tuhoe, Ngāti Manawa) on bass guitar, Jesse Rapana (Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Tipa, Ngāti Paoa, Ngāti Māhanga) on lead guitar, saxophone and background vocals, Luke Whaanga is on lead vocals and rhythm guitar and Raukura Roberts (Te Arawa, Tainui, Whakatohea) on backing vocals.

Luke wrote a song called 'Home' which will feature on the debut EP. Eugene Temara, the kaikorero for Origin Roots added kupu Māori to the song. Eugene says when he wrote "hoki mai ki te ūkaipō" he was thinking about whānau overseas during the Covid-19 pandemic and how they must feel being away from home during this time. "It is pretty much a karanga to come home, so they can feel the ihirangaranga, the home vibrations, the whenua, our connection to Papatūānuku." He says the kupu can also resonate with those here in Aotearoa who live away from their ūkaipō, the place they feel most at home.

The song has a catchy tune, easy to sing along lyrics and Luke Whaanga's unmistakable strong vocals. "This is the waiata we hope to hear blasting from bluetooth speakers at the beach this summer, bumping from your car stereos and bouncing off the hills. We hope people will play it at guitar parties here in Aotearoa and at gatherings around the world. Everybody has their own ūkaipō and we hope you feel closer to your special place when you watch our music video and hear our song," said Luke. "Home is not four walls and a ceiling, it's a feeling!"

ORA wishes to thank Te Māngai Paho for their backing, Mike "Haka Boy" Jonathan for creating the music video for Home/Ūkaipō and the whānau from Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao for their tautoko.

© Scoop Media

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