For Te Whānau a Apanui and Ngāti Porou’s Rob Ruha, 2017 has been a year of musical endeavours. Not only did he release his third album Survivance, he was also involved in Disney’s animated film Moana Reo Māori as musical director.

When speaking of 2017, he reflects that although he was ‘here, there and everywhere’ in terms of his work schedule, he still strived to encourage and support young artists coming through.

“Kei konā tonu te aroha me te whakaaro nui ki a koutou, nō te mea ko tātou tērā kei te hāpai i te mana Māori i roto i ēnei mahi ā tātou.”

With a work schedule taking him overseas on a number of occasions, it brought home the benefits of living in Aotearoa and the liberties given to Māori compared to some indigenous cultures overseas.

“Mō ngāi tātou, mō ngā kaiwaiata Māori, kua tino kite ahau te waimaria o taku whakareanga, o tā koutou whakareanga, i te whawhai roa a ngā pakeke mō te reo, mō te moko, mō ā tātou tikanga, kia ora ai tātou i roto i ngā tikanga tuku iho a ngā mātua tipuna.”

It looks as though 2018 will be just as busy for Ruha, with plans to perform in Hawai'i with the likes of Maisey Rika, Seth Haapu, and Horomona Horo; collaborations with Grammy nominee Hawaiian singer-songwriter Josh Tatofi, and First Nations electronic music group, A Tribe Called Red; and being involved with Waiata Māori Music Awards and Indigenous Music Awards.

Ruha is also hoping to stage a tour with his band, Witch Dr.

“Kei te whakarite au i tētahi karoretanga me taku pēne, te Witch Dr," te kī a Ruha, "he whakapāho atu i taku kōpae hou a Survivance. Na reira kei te tino hīkaka au ki tērā, nā reira kia mau ki taku whārangi ipurangi, me taku whārangi Pukamata mō ērā whakanekeneke.”

@robruhamusic | robruha.nz

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