Brothers Francis, Laughton, Stuart and Brad Kora formed Kora in 2002, with "token white dude" Dan McGruer. Originally from Whakatane, some of the Koras had played with high school band Aunty Beatrice, which won Rockquest in 1991. Melding reggae, rock, dub, roots, funk and vocal harmonies, Kora released an EP in 2004. Their self-titled debut album entered the charts at number 1 in 2007; 2012's Light Years won acclaim. UK electronic act Cabaret Voltaire released an EP of remixes. Brad and Laughton left Kora in 2013, and formed L.A.B; later Laughton joined Kinetic. Francis also sings in the Modern Māori Quartet.
Ian Morris got his start in the music industry as a recording engineer at Auckland's Stebbings Studio. A guitarist in Th'Dudes, he co-wrote some of the band's biggest hits with Dave Dobbyn (including 'Right First Time" and 'Bliss'). In 1987 he topped the charts as Tex Pistol with his cover of 'The Game of Love' (which he performed, arranged, engineered and produced). 'Nobody Else', a follow-up single with his brother Rikki, went to number one a year later. Morris also composed and recorded soundtracks for TV, film and commercials. He died in October 2010.
Musical brothers Ian and Rikki (Richard) Morris collaborated briefly in the late 80s. A former member of Th’Dudes, Ian had a solo number one hit in 1987 as Tex Pistol with his version of the 60s classic ‘The Game of Love’. The following year, Ian and Rikki topped the charts together when they joined forces to record Rikki’s song ‘Nobody Else’. Ian also engineered and produced Rikki’s debut solo single ‘Heartbroke’. It won Rikki the APRA Silver Scroll songwriting award for 1991 and Ian was named Best Engineer at the NZ Music Awards.
This award-winning Candle Wasters web series mixes A Midsummer Night’s Dream with a teen house party. In the first two episodes, Puck (Meesha Rikk) hits the party in time to witness a showdown, while Lena (Kalisha Wasasala) worries about when to make a romantic move. Then Puck crashes a young activists’ meeting — inspired by the original play's comical Mechanicals — in the bedroom of Petra (Thomasin McKenzie from Leave No Trace). The third Shakespeare adaptation by The Candle Wasters added NZ On Air funding and "token dude" Robbie Nicol to the creative team.
Rikki (Richard) Morris is the younger brother of former Th'Dudes member, Ian Morris. After leaving school he worked as a touring sound technician and was briefly a member of The Crocodiles. In 1988 Ian (as Tex Pistol) recorded Rikki's song 'Nobody Else' (with Rikki on lead vocal). It topped the singles chart and won Rikki the Songwriter of the Year award. He won the APRA Silver Scroll in 1991 for his song 'Heartbroke' and released a solo album, Everest in 1996. He has also been a television presenter and run his own recording studio.
Dave Dobbyn formed DD Smash with legendary drummer Peter Warren and others in 1981, following the breakup of Th'Dudes. The new band released their debut album Cool Bananas in 1982. It became the first Kiwi album to debut at number one, and stayed in the NZ charts for 24 weeks. The following year classic single 'Outlook for Thursday' almost equalled that number, with 21 weeks in the chart. DD Smash won many NZ Music Awards and were a popular live act in both NZ and Australia. After the release of third and final DD Smash album The Optimist in 1984, Dobbyn began an extended solo career.
Dave Dobbyn's musical career is legendary, from classic Kiwi songs like 'Loyal' and 'Welcome Home' to his early work in bands Th'Dudes ('Be Mine Tonight', 'Bliss') and DD Smash ('Outlook for Thursday'). The iconic singer-songwriter has been pumping out hit songs since the late 1970s. He went solo in 1986 with the soundtrack for hit movie Footrot Flats: The Dog's Tale. Since then Dobbyn has released a further eight albums, and received countless accolades. Ten of his songs appeared in a list of New Zealand's Top 100 popular songs, as voted by music royalties organisation APRA.
Life imitated art when Matt Heath and Chris Stapp transformed their Back of the Y house band into a real act. Here they make a determined bid to wrest the drinking anthem crown away from Th’Dudes’ Bliss with their own ode to the amber liquid. Heath and Stapp’s video takes the tribute to the six pack from pained conception through live performance to post gig acoustic sing-along by way of a hail of beer cans. It’s also a chance to revisit tried and true Back of the Y favourites: from flaming helmets and wrestling masks to dodgy stunts and pyrotechnics.
The search for a New Zealand Spice Girls is underway in the first episode of this pioneering reality series. Manager Peter Urlich (formerly of Th' Dudes) and record company executive Mark Tierney (ex-Strawpeople) hold public auditions to find an all-female pop group for their record deal and TV series. The good, the bad and the unfortunate are out in full force. After an exhaustive selection process, Urlich and Tierney whittle down the talent to 15 hopefuls. The format for the show sold to multiple countries.
Popstars was a key part of the late 1990s reality television explosion. The series followed the creation and development of all-female pop band TrueBliss (Carly Binding, Keri Harper, Joe Cotton, Megan Alatini and Erika Takacs). The five singers went on to record several chart-topping singles, and a platinum-selling album. Also a hit was the series format, which sold around the world and helped inspire Pop Idol/American Idol, the franchise that would dominate reality television for years to come. Popstars was named Best Entertainment Programme at the 1999 NZ Television Awards.