Don't Forget Your Roots

Six60, Music Video, 2011

'Don't Forget Your Roots' was released in July 2011 as the second single from Six60's self-titled debut album. The laid back meditation on family reached number two on the singles chart. The video, directed by Robin Walters, is set around the student accommodation area of north Dunedin, where the band members met while three of them were studying at Otago University. Some of the city's most notorious flats are featured, including 660 Castle Street where three of the band members lived, and the group first rehearsed.    

Sometimes Enough

The Black Seeds, Music Video, 2006

Wellington’s Black Seeds serve up another dose of their brand of funky roots reggae on this, their debut single from third album Into The Dojo. Director Jason Naran’s video is based on a concept by former Black Seeds member Bret McKenzie (who cameos briefly on Kitchen Cam 1). The result re-imagines the concept of social networking, with a cast of online fans grooving to the music. The video was judged Best Roots winner at the 2006 Juice TV Awards.

Nice Day for An Earthquake

Jakob, Music Video, 2001

Set at the apex of the magnificent Te Mata Peak, Ed Davis' spectacular one shot wonder appears devilishly loaded. Opening on a transmitter tower, we pan to discover our brooding hero slouched in front of TV. Cropping to widescreen allows Davis to cleverly frame the action and draw focus, as our axe wielding hero busts a valve, unleashing a world of hurt upon the offending appliance. Backing away from the dispute, amidst breathtaking scenery, we close on the root of evil - the loathsome tower.

Ragga Girl

Upper Hutt Posse, Music Video, 1992

Upper Hutt Posse were the first group to release a hip hop record in New Zealand, with their politically charged breakthrough 1988 single 'E Tu'. On this single from 1992, they make something of a return to their reggae roots. By now the group had expanded from the original four-piece, and included Teremoana Rapley — also part of Moana and the Moahunters — on additional vocals. The song would later appear on the soundtrack of Once Were Warriors, with Posse members Dean and Matt Hapeta (aka D-Word and MC Wiya) making cameo appearances in the film.

I See Red

Split Enz, Music Video, 1979

With departed founder member Phil Judd back in NZ, this UK written Tim Finn rocker took Split Enz even further into pop territory and away from their art rock roots. Of a piece with the most energetic New Wave of the time, it was accompanied by a video with an appropriately frenzied performance which former member and Enz historian Mike Chunn rated as one of their most infectious. The band are wearing Noel Crombie’s art-school designed suits, Neil Finn looks ridiculously young and endings don’t come much more abruptly than this one.

Screems from da Old Plantation

King Kapisi, Music Video, 2000

"Samoa mo Samoa!" — King Kapisi blends his Samoan roots with hip hop culture in this video shot on Samoa's ring roads. The hip hop music video standby of the drive-by gets revised Pasifika-style, and the fire poi, papase'ea sliding rocks, lavalava, coconuts, and colourful Apia buses make this clip staunchly fa'a Samoa.

Dancehall Girl

Salmonella Dub, Music Video, 2003

Salmonella Dub’s roots, dub, and drum’n’bass cocktail is shaken up on this single from their fifth album One Drop East. John Chrisstoffels’ energetic video won Juice TV’s Best R’n’b/Urban award in 2003. It borders on the claustrophobic as the camera gets right in amongst the band and an enthusiastic audience (swathed in appropriately rasta red, gold and green lighting). An apple-munching brass section might be a first but it’s megaphone-wielding singer Tiki Taane who is the centre of attention as he toasts up a storm.

Sheep

Toy Love, Music Video, 1980

The second, double-sided Toy Love single 'Don't Ask Me' / 'Sheep' was released in April 1980 and reached number 10 on the Kiwi pop charts. That year the band signed a contract with Michael Browning — a former manager of AC/DC — and made the move to Sydney, the prize being a studio album and a way bigger audience, but disillusionment soon set in. Sheep jumps out of the gates with driving drums and guitars and lyrics about numbness and confusion, all confirming Toy Love's punk roots. The band wander aimlessly around city streets and rock out in a cramped flat. Punk lives! 

Walk (Back to Your Arms)

Tami Neilson, Music Video, 2014

Canadian import Tami Neilson showcased her range with fourth album Dynamite!, colouring her country roots with lashings of rockabilly and gospel — plus this track, where she channels torch singer Peggy Lee doing a “sultry nightclub blues” (as the Herald's Graham Reid put it). The black and white video reflects the deliberately retro, minimalist vibe of the song, with Neilson grooving at front and centre while guitarist, bongo drummer and a trio of doo-wop vocalists chime in behind. 'Walk' won Tami and brother Joshua Neilson the 2014 Silver Scroll songwriting award.  

Medicine Man

Tama Waipara, Music Video, 2013

“This song is called ‘Medicine Man’ because music is my medicine, and failing all else in life, music remains the constant no matter who else is there.” So said Tama Waipara of the first single from his third album Fill Up the Silence, which was rated Best Roots Album at the 2014 NZ Music Awards. The song’s beat is credited to a Papua New Guinean influence, but Jessica Sanderson’s video roams widely: from Pasifika and colonial drummers to carpark breakdancing and getting lost inside headphones in a laundromat, from poi to pop and lock — to where “love is in the music”.