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Reggae is one of the bloodlines of New Zealand music, and the all-Maori band Katchafire has become its foremost advocate today. A family affair from day one in 1997, founder and lead guitarist Grenville Bell and sons Logan(lead vocals) and Jordan (drums) remain the core of the band. Transcending their origins in a Hamilton garage as a cover band, Katchafire took their Marley-inspired original music to the bars and clubs, building up a fan base of thousands. Their exceptional debut album, the prophetically named Revival, sold in excess of 45,000 copies (more than double platinum in New Zealand) and they scored massive hits with songs like Giddy Up, the nation's biggest selling single of 2002-3.
After building on that success at home with the platinum follow-up "Slow Burning", Katchafire took a major step forward when New Zealand foreign exchange students Introduced their Kiwi reggae vibes to the fertile soil of the Hawaiian Islands. Underground popularity soon exploded onto the airwaves, and by the summer of 2006 Katchafire was topping the sales charts in the Aloha State and headlining at the 10,000 capacity Waikiki Shell. The boys have been giving their passports a considerable workout ever since,from festival appearances all over Europe to increasingly successful mainland U.S. excursions. They now draw huge crowds all over the Pacific,from Australia to Guam and Saipan.
On record, Katchafire reached a new level of musical depth and maturity on 2007's "Say What You're Thinking". With jazz, pop, rock and even hip-hop influences enhancing a solid roots foundation, they scored their greatest American chart success to date with a #6 showing on the Billboard Reggae chart. Katchafire is well-known for trading instruments among themselves during their marathon live shows. That versatility was demonstrated as never before on the album, with no less than five band members contributing songs and sharing lead vocal duties. The next few years found the boys supporting this landmark release with an increasingly hectic tour schedule,featuring stops at the Big Day Out Festival at home, Raggamuffin tour of Australia, and new island conquests like Fiji. And each U.S. tour is bigger than the last, with stops at SXSW, Reggae on the River, House of Blues and many more.
In 2011 their long-awaited fourth album "On The Road Again" was released in the US, a testament to their relentless work ethic and life spent on tour. Already platinum in Aotearoa, Katchafire's latest set a new high water mark on the American charts: #3 Billboard Reggae, #42 Heatseekers, and #5 iTunes Reggae. The CD also reached new heights in airplay, simultaneously landing three songs in the Media guide Reggae Singles top 10 (#1 Feels Like, #5 Sweet As and #8 Yr Dreaming). From the South Pacific to North America, Europe,Brazil and beyond, Katchafire continues to prove they are New Zealand's premier ambassadors of roots reggae and hardest working band of any genre.
“The Boys from Maui,” Maoli are back and this time with their new CD release entitled, “Arise”. Nominees of the Hawaiian Music Awards and the Na Hoku Hanohano Music Awards, Maoli have returned fresher than ever and their newest radio hit, “Blew It” is the precursor release from this 3rd album, which is undeniably destined for national appeal and worldwide attention.
The early beginnings of Maoli (meaning “Native” in Hawaiian) started in Maui with Glenn Awong, a 14-year-old with a passion for music, and Kana Akiu-Corpuz. In their sophomore year, the aspiring vocalist and bassist began writing original music at the encouragement of their high school teacher. It was also during this time that Glenn started recording demos of his songs. By the time he reached his senior year, Glenn was ready to share his music with a greater audience.
In 2005, Glenn and the band he formed, “No Boundaries”, won a Battle of the Bands competition on the island of Maui. With numerous performances already under his belt, Glenn then formed Maoli in 2007 with a new lineup of talented musicians, including bassist, Kana.
Maoli took the islands by storm in 2008 with their debut album entitled, “Groovin” having one hit after the next (“No One”, “Write Me A Letter”, and “So Incredible”); this was the groundbreaking album that first established the group as a premiere Hawaiian Island Reggae recording band. In 2010, Maoli did it again with their 2nd release, “Rock Easy”, featuring another treasure trove of #1 hits; “Breaking My Heart”, “Whisper” and “Rock Easy”. Maoli’s road to success continued as they toured the islands and the world promoting their very own unique Island sound.
In 2012 Maoli welcomed new band member, rhythm guitarist & vocalist, Nu’u Kahalehau. Nu’u hails from a background of musicians, including his father, Shane Kahalehau otherwise known as “Hawaiian Homeboy”. But Nu’u isn’t a stranger to Maoli, as his talents were also featured on the “Rock Easy” album’s #1 hit, “Rock Easy”.
Now, the boys are proud to release their 3rd CD, “Arise.” The album consists of original songs penned by the band’s founder and leader Glenn Awong. Prepare to be taken on a musical odyssey which will exhilarate your soul, one track at a time.