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Contributor


Tom Knowles

Māori Composer

Biography

Rongowhakaata

Tom Knowles comes from a family of talented musicians and growing up, participated in all of the local operatic society shows as well as numerous jazz and rock bands. Eventually, he moved to Wellington and pursued a degree at Toi Whakaari, the New Zealand Drama School. Since graduating in 2013 Tom has amassed an extensive acting career under his belt, encompassing stage shows, television and advertising. Some of Knowles’ appearances include Shrek: The Musical (in which he starred as the titular ogre), Grease, Saturday Night Fever, as part of the Modern Māori Quartet and the TV series The Brokenwood Mysteries.

He has also opened for artists like the Sons of Zion and Drax project, and played at numerous festivals under various names and groups including playing at Garden Magic at the Botanical Gardens in Wellington, headlining the Big Gay Out in Auckland, performing on the Picton foreshore on New Year’s Eve, and at Cubadupa in Wellington.

In 2021 he completed a musical titled ‘Atarangi: Morning Sky’ and in 2023 released an album of 20 songs from the musical under the same name. The album has a feel-good reggae-pop sound, with both English and Te Reo Māori lyrics and explores themes of empowerment and the Māori creation story of Ranginui and Papatūānuku. Tom credits his musical influences to legends such as Troy Kingi, Katchafire, The Black Seeds, and Ria Hall.

RECENT AWARDS: PEOPLE’S CHOICE GLOBAL ALBUMS OF THE YEAR-2023 GLOBAL CHILDREN'S ENTERTAINMENT AWARDS GLOBAL SONG OF THE YEAR- RUNNER UP- 2023 GLOBAL CHILDREN'S ENTERTAINMENT AWARDS Honouree president's award (for "My People" music video) - 2023 GLOBAL CHILDREN'S ENTERTAINMENT AWARDS

“I wanted to create something that was from here, that told our stories, that encompassed our sounds and that represented us on stage with pride and worth.”


Composed (21)

Atarangi (morning sky)

Reggae, Pop, 2m 52s


Atarangi: Morning Sky

Full Musical, 2h


Breath of Life

Reggae, English and Te Reo, 2m 34s


Haumia-tiketike

Instrumental, Reggae, 50s


I am enough

Reggae, English and Te Reo, 2m 2s


Long Line of Chiefs Pt 1

Acoustic, 1m 7s


Long Line of Chiefs Pt.2

reggae, pop, 1m 29s


Morning Dawning

Taonga Puoro, instrumental, 49s


My People

Reggae, 3m 36s


Rangi and Papa

Reggae, Pop, 1m 47s


Rongo

Pop, Reggae,, 21s


Rūaumoko

Te Reo, Metal, 27s


Story of Atarangi

Reggae, rock, pop, 2m 9s


Tangaroa

Te Reo, Reggae,, 33s


Tena Kowhiria

English, Te Reo, Reggae, 2m 56s


Too Many Lives Lost

Reggae, 2m 2s


Tāne-Mahuta

Te Reo, Reggae, 37s


Tāwhirimātea

Te Reo, Pop, Reggae, 26s


Tūmatauenga

Te Reo, Reggae, 59s


When I Grow Up

Reggae, Rap, 2m 20s


You Make A Manuhiri

Reggae, 2m 32s