The Afro-soul-meets-Aotearoa roots and energy of The Hot Grits sound is summed up by this question on the collective's website: "What do you get when you fix a pound of Fela Kuti's Afrika 70, two cupfuls of The Meters, 250g of thinly sliced early James Brown and a level dessert spoon of psychedelic rock?" The 11-piece outfit has the kudos of having their first music video, Headlights, banned by state broadcaster TVNZ for showing toddlers simulating an adult night on the town.
Banned by TVNZ, this Hot Grits video follows a group of friends having a party, before a night on the town. The only difference: this time it is young children doing the drinking (milk), and wigging out. 'Headlights' won two awards at Kiwi music video contest Handle the Jandle in 2008: Best Video, and Best Use of Exploitative Tactics. During filming, creative collective The Downlow Concept (TV series Hounds) attempted to control their junior cast by bribing them with sweets and toys. But when "sugar madness" kicked in, the kids were in control.