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Five Questions with Origin Roots Aotearoa

Origin Roots Aotearoa have released their new single Tuakiritanga. Nina Lesperance from SOUNZ caught up with Eugene Temara from Origin Roots Aotearoa, to talk about the new single.

Kei ngā maunga whakahī, kei ngā wai whakatere taniwha, e mihi kau ana.
I te taha ure tārewa
Nō roto o Ngāi Tūhoe, Ruatāhuna kākahu mauku

I te taha tara mehameha
Nō, Raukawa ki Wharepuhunga, Waikato, Te Arawa - Ngāti Te Roro o te rangi.

Who are the members of your band?

Jess Rāpana (Tainui, Te Arawa) – Lead guitarist, songwriter and one of the leaders
Joel King-Hazel (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Porou) – Lead Keys player, singer-songwriter one of 3 managers
Tuariki Brown (Te Arawa, Tainui) – Bass player
John Wikaire (Tainui) – Drummer
Erena Temara (Te Arawa, Mātaatua) – Backing vocalist and one of 3 managers
Ngāwaiwera Campbell (Tauranga Moana) – Backing vocalist
Tyron Te Moni (Te Arawa) Backing vocalist
Eugene Temara (Tūhoe, Tainui, Te Arawa) Frontman, singer-songwriter and one of 3 managers

Can you tell us what inspired your new waiata ‘Tuakiritanga’

This song was composed during a time of reclaiming who I am and where I come from.
Tuakiritanga is all about your identity, that shapes you to who you are.
Tuakiritanga is about self-reflection
It is important for the next generation to understand the past in order to move into the future
Too many of our people are lost and don't know who they are or where they come from, the hope is that this song allows for the message to be heard and acted upon.
The lyrics portray the understanding that your identity lives within you. It is your job to seek to find and you will see, there [is] so much more
Listen to what we say, find who you are, and stay that way.

How long has Origin Roots Aotearoa been together?

Over a year old now. We have had movement on our waka, however like any other waka, ka koke whakamua.

What inspired the beautiful music video inside the ‘Marae’?

Jess Rāpana had a concept and we ran with it. We had Local Gecko Production help us sculpt what we have now for Tuakiritanga. Nice and simple with our babies surrounding us.

What inspired your earlier single ‘No More’?

With the current situation with the environment, the whenua and moana. We needed a song that could voice those whakaaro and allow Papatuanuku to be heard through this song.

Do you have anything else coming up the SOUNZ audience should keep an eye out for?

We have an EP dropping at the end of this month, dates are TBC. Nō reira kia are pīkari mai e te iwi.

Origin Roots Aotearoa also took home an award at the 2021 Waiata Māori Music Awards - TE TOHU KAIPŪORU PAKEKE HOU – Emerging Artist Over 25 Award presented by Marcia Hopa and Pheonix Ruka, Ngāti Hine FM⁠⁠

Kei aku iti, kei aku rahi.
Nō mātou kē te maringa nui kua whakawhiwhia tēnei taonga e mātou o Origin Roots Aotearoa.

We are blessed and humbled to receive such an award. Being the new kids on the block and to even been mentioned amongst the biggest bands in Aotearoa, is amazing.
Origin Roots Aotearoa, want to send a huge mihi to all those that have support or helped this kaupapa come alive.
A special mention to all our whānau, parents, partners and tamariki. You are our why, our success is your success.