17 Apr 2024
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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 Maori 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 Rangitawaea’ Awards for musical themes that support short films and the recently revived ‘Nga Manu Waiata’ competition that promotes the development of Ngati 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 ta-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 Maoritanga in the face of immense societal changes.

“Naturally, Te Reo Maori 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.

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  • Rotorua

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