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Riqi Harawira - Single Review: Ruapekapeka

11 Jun 2020 // A review by kongfooey

Back in another life (during the 90's), Riqi Harawira used to let my bandmate and I crash at his pad on Fort Street in Auckland whenever we were on tour. He was a good dude, played lead guitar for Dead Flowers and both our bands were on the same label (Wildside). I was impressed with his guitar work back then, and Riqi certainly hasn't lost his edge 20-something years later.

Ruapekapeka (translated to "The Bat's Nest") is his latest offering. This song is about the famous northern battle between the colonials under Governor-General Grey and the combined forces of Kawiti and Hone Heke. Alien Weaponry have carved a similar path infusing Te Reo with heavy music, however, this song steers clear of Metal and goes for the Hard Rock jugular instead. With a unique mix of GnR styled riffing combined with blistering solos, it's easy to see why some call Riqi the Maori Slash.

The accompanying and very impressive video shows the fierce battle with the Governor-General Grey's forces in Northland as Riqi wields his Guitaiaha (Guitar/taiaha) with the conviction of a rebellious warrior. Riqi has had to fight through his own personal battles in the past but has come out victorious, and the mana translates through his music here. Ruapekapeka features a catchy chorus, some tasty blues licks and a mean as guitar solo - this may also be the first Te Reo Hard Rock track to surface in Aotearoa, and I have a feeling it won't be the last.

Ruapekapeka won't be everyone's cuppa tea, but for those who love this particular genre, they will be in for a very sweet treat.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Riqi Harawira

Riqi Harawira (Te Aupouri, Ngapuhi) has shared stages with some of the world’s biggest acts, Guns n Roses and Pearl Jam to name a few. The former lead guitarist and co-songwriter for popular 90’s grunge band Dead Flowers. He has collaborated with numerous Kiwi artists across his career such as Kings, Stellar*, DLT, Che Fu and Dam Native. Riqi Harawira is a Maori fusion artist and a guitar virtuoso who is passionate about telling stories about Aotearoa through his original music.

Riqi is a lover of guitar and passionate about playing it. A multi-instrumentalist, Riqi frequently melds te reo Maori and English with rock and grunge music, dabbling with covers of Jimi Hendrix, Tama Renata, Joe Satriani and performing the NZ national anthem and the Last Post with the healing voice of his guitar he calls Mareikura (named after a Ngati Kahungunu princess).

Immersed in music from a young age, his father, Rangi Hadfield (Rangi Harawira) was an international Maori entertainer who performed in over 65 countries and who taught Riqi the guitar.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Riqi Harawira

Releases

Mauri
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Sound of the Long White Cloud
Year: 2016
Type: Album

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