Hosted by Francis Kora, this episode of The Gravy is the story of musician and anti-apartheid activist Tigilau (Tigi) Ness, who during the 1970s joined the Polynesian Panthers movement in Auckland. Tigi Ness, the father of hip hop musician Che Fu, recalls his childhood in central Auckland and troubled times with the 1974 dawn raids and protests during the 1981 Springbok rugby tour for which he served nine months in prison. The episode also tells the story of his musical life in reggae bands such as Unity Pacific. Animated segment The Truth takes a look at lambs.
Australian Idol winner Stan Walker made his acting debut in this hit feature, as aspiring singer Turei. Part of a whānau of Māori potato pickers from Pukekohe, he has to choose between duty to job and family (Temuera Morrison plays his hard-working Dad) and letting the music play. His dilemma takes place as reggae star Bob Marley performs in Aotearoa in 1979, offering the chance for Turei's band Small Axe to win a supporting slot at Marley's Western Springs concert. Released on Waitangi Day 2013, Tearepa Kahi's debut feature became the most successful local release of the year.
Katchafire developed their roots reggae sound as a Bob Marley tribute band in the 90s - under a Waikato ponga tree rather than a Jamaican palm frond; and the seven-piece have gigged extensively, on and off-island, earning a reputation for the accessible revivalist euphoria of their live shows. 'Giddy Up' (from the band's debut album Revival) was NZ's highest-selling single in 2003, while follow ups, Slow Burning (2005) and Say What You're Thinking (2007), established Katchafire as reigning Kiwi kings of reggae.
Australian Idol winner Stan Walker made his acting debut in Tearepa Kahi’s feature film Mt Zion, as a potato picker from Pukekohe who dreams of supporting his idol Bob Marley at Marley's 1979 Auckland concert. This song from the film’s soundtrack combines Mt Zion’s reggae sounds with Walker’s more R’n’B/soul style. The video mixes scenes from the film with a performance from Walker (displaying the tattoos that were deemed too modern for a period piece, and had to be covered up for the movie).
Comprising four Māori brothers and a white vocalist, Golden Harvest began in smalltown Morrinsville as the aptly-titled Brothers: Kevin, Gavin, Eru and Mervyn Kaukau. In the mid 70s they moved to Auckland, and recruited singer Karl Gordon. As Golden Harvest, they played support for Bob Marley and ELO, and released a single, self-titled album in 1978. Heavier on stage than on record, they would come to be defined by their single top 10 hit: 'I Need Your Love'. By 1980 the band were no more.
Wellington reggae act formed in 1989 taking a name proudly reflecting their origins from outside of Auckland. Ian Morris produced their catchy debut single ‘What’s The Time Mr Wolf’ which drew on imagery from vocalist Ruia Aperahama’s Ratana faith. It made little impact until its inclusion in Once Were Warriors catapulted it into the Top 5. Their debut album won Best Māori Album at the 1993 NZ Music Awards. Aperahama and his brother Ranea have recorded two albums of Bob Marley songs in te reo while drummer Maaka McGregor formed Wai 100% with Mina Ripia.
R&B singer and TV personality Stan Walker (Tūhoe/Ngāti Tūwharetoa) was born in Melbourne but raised in New Zealand. After moving back across the Tasman, he won Australian Idol in 2009 and launched a music career which has included a chart-topping album (From The Inside Out) and single (‘Black Box’), plus multiple NZ Music Awards. In 2013, Walker he helped judge the first series of X Factor NZ and made his film debut as star of box office hit Mt Zion — playing a potato picker with dreams of supporting Bob Marley. 2014 saw the release of ensemble te reo single 'Aotearoa'.
Reporter, musician and most importantly music fan, Dylan Taite can be fairly claimed as the man who brought some of the most left field musical talent to prime-time TV. Some of his interviews are legendary — others, like his sit-down with reggae legend Bob Marley, historically important. All were done with an eye for invention, a sharp turn of phrase and a touch of eccentricity that made his reports a must-see for music fans.
After almost two decades of directing and producing documentaries, David Harry Baldock left TVNZ in 1988 to launch Ninox Television. The company’s roster of reality-based programming included export hit Sensing Murder, local award-winner Our People Our Century and nine seasons of Location Location Location. These days Baldock is busy making arts programmes from Shanghai.
Quinton Hita's broadcasting career has included stints as DJ, writer, actor and producer. His abilities in te reo first took Hita to radio, then a gig co-presenting TV's Mai Time. He went on to act in Crooked Earth and Shortland Street, where he also did time as a writer and Māori script editor. These days head of Kura Productions, Hita has produced many shows for Māori Television — plus his first feature, reggae tale Mt Zion.