19 Sep 2020
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Rob Ruha

Bio

Rob Ruha is a singer/songwriter from the East Coast of Aotearoa and as an emerging artist in the music industry, has a burning tenacity to expand the platforms for the voice of his indigenous nation.

Rob has been composing waiata since 12 years old. Many of those waiata have been performed by kapa haka teams all over Aotearoa (New Zealand) and abroad.

As a performer, he has contributed to the realm of Māori Performing Arts since he was a child.

He is recognized as an exponent of Kapa Haka and has judged the quality of this art form at regional, national and international kapa haka competitions for the past 11 years.

A recognized tribal composer; Robert has also judged the ‘Te Rangitāwaea’ Awards for musical themes that support short films and the recently revived ‘Ngā Manu Waiata’ competition that promotes the development of Ngāti Porou composers and future recording artists. He has also been a judge for the prestigious APRA Silver Scrolls Maioha Award.

On the 28th of March 2014, Rob released his debut EP. The name of the EP is Tiki Tapu (the sacred tā-moko implement). It marks a period of time from when the last recorded male ancestors of his family wore facial moko (in the 1800's) to the present. This sets the time-line for which the concepts of the compositions, including the liberation of cultural expressions of identity, aroha, kotahitanga, spiritual belief systems and leadership solidarity, are rooted. Moko; a symbol of permanence and a commitment to making a particular way of life enduring - Tiki Tapu EP asks us to hold fast to our Māoritanga in the face of immense societal changes.

“Naturally, Te Reo Māori features greatly in this work to reflect my mother tongue, evoking the innate rise and fall of the tones most familiar to me. I have also begun to venture into bi-lingual compositions. It's a considered fusion, capturing a natural synergy between the two languages - a practice modelled to me by the late Tuini Ngawai: the epitome of composition prowess within my Iwi territory.”

Each instrument, key stroke, percussion stab and musical arrangement has been intentionally crafted to sculpt musical themes that accent the layers of narratives surrounding the concepts within each track of the Tiki Tapu EP.

Ko Tiki Tapu te ingoa o te kōpae hou a Rob Ruha. Nā te korenga o te mau moko konohi e te ure tārewa o tōna whānau i ngā tau o te 1800 ki te tau 2005 a ia ka tiki atu i tēneki ingoa mō tōna kōpae. I taka mai hoki ngā kaupapa o ngā waiata i ngā tāmitanga i heipūngia tōna iwi i taua wā. Ko te Mana Motuhake tēnā, ko te aroha, te kotahitanga, te taha wairua o ngā mea katoa tae noa ki ngā kaiārahi a te iwi. Kāti, he tohu nui te Moko mō te whakapūmautanga o te tangata ki tētahi ara - ko te tono nui a ngā waiata o te kōpae Tiki Tapu nei, kia mau tātau ki tō tātau Māoritanga ahakoa ngā tini whakawai o te ao-hurihuri.

“Ka whakamahia nuitia te reo o waku tīpuna i woku waiata i te mea koinā te taonga nāna ‘wau i whakatangata i tēneki ao waiata. Tērā anō wētahi titonga kua reo-rua te karawhiu. Heoi, nāku i waihanga kia ngātahi te piki heke o ngā reo anō nei ko rāua anō rāua. Ehara hoki i te mahi tauhou, erangi ia, he mea kua whakatauira kē mai e te tipua whakairo waiata o taku iwi a Tuini Ngāwai.”

I āta whiriwhiria, i āta whakairongia hoki ia taputapu whakatangitangi, ia pātukitanga, ngā piki heke o ngā reo, te kawe tae noa ki te huhū o te whiu pūoro, kia tino puta ngā kōrero nunui me ngā kōrero huna kai roto i ngā waiata e ono katoa o te kōpae nei a Tiki Tapu - hai whatu mō te wānanga, hai takapau mō te kōrero.

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  • Rotorua


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