28 Oct 2020
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Strangely Arousing

Bio

Strangely Arousing are a five-piece progressive reggae/ska band, effortlessly blending other genres and styles of music to create their unique sound, laced with brass, synth, dub, and guitar. Strangely straddles the line between the bizarre you know you love and the weird you don’t know you love yet, like old pros. Whether you come to marinate in dubs and bass, or simply to melt into a puddle on the floor, Strangely Arousing offers a new wave of music inspired by New Zealand’s legendary hip-hop and reggae dub forefathers.

Formed in 2012 and hailing from Rotorua, this talented bunch made a statement with their first foray into the New Zealand music scene by winning the SmokeFree Pacifica Beats in 2013, and went on to win Battle of the Bands in 2014. They have since played at sell-out shows on multiple tours around NZ, and appearances on the main stages of festivals such as Raggamuffin and Rhythm and Vines, alongside their musical heroes such as Damien Marley, Fat Freddy’s Drop and Sticky Fingers. The band has performed internationally in the Middle East, China and South Korea, including headlining the Kiwi ExPats ball in Dubai in November 2018.

Their first EP Extended Play was released in 2014 followed by their studio album Strangely Arousing in 2017. Recorded at Roundhead Studios and debuting at number 3 on the NZ Music Charts, the album was also a finalist for the coveted Taite Music Prize ‘Best Independent Debut’ Award in 2018. The music video for single Groove Shooter made headlines, as it featured the members trying to win over Nazanin ‘Naz’ Khanjani from The Bachelor in a multi-million dollar house. Proudly weaving their M?ori heritage into their music with lyrics in Te Reo, Strangely deliver revelation by vibration.

The band consists of former Western Heights High School students Lukas Wharekura (vocals/lead guitar; Ngati Kahungunu Ki Horohoro), Shaun Loper (bass; Ngai Tahu and Ngati Mutanga), Oliver Prendergast (Drums/Cymbals), Forrest Thorp (trumpet/keys) and Liam Rolfe (trombone/backing vocals). Originally childhood and high school friends, the five-piece formed for an NCEA project, and after graduating, three of the members attended the New Zealand School of Music - Liam on trombone, Lukas on guitar, and Forrest on trumpet. Strangely Arousing moved to Auckland as a collective to keep making musical magic.

Band Members:
Oliver Prendergast (drums)
Shaun Loper (bass)
Lukas Wharekura (vocals, guitar)
Forrest Thorp (trumpet, keyboards)
Liam Rolfe (trombone, backing vocals)

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  • Auckland

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