ROB RUHA – Haka-soul Musician
(Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngāti Porou,
Te Arawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Tainui, Rongowhakaata, Ngāpuhi, Ngā Ariki-kaipūtahi)
Ko Rob Ruha tētahi o ngā tino kai-waiata, kaitito waiata hoki tēnei whakareanga Māori. He tamaiti nā te ao kapa haka i whāngai ki te waiata me te Māoritanga, ā, nō te tau 2014 ka puta a Rob ki te ao hai kai-waiata takitahi. Kua eke a ia i ngā tiketiketanga nui o te ao waiata ki Aotearoa nei, kua puta hoki wōna momo waiata e kīa ana ko te ‘Haka-soul’ ki te ao whānui.
Rob Ruha is an iconic composer and solo artist of a new generation of Māori. He is a product of powerful kapa haka traditions of song and indigeneity and in 2014, began a career as a Solo artist. Since then, Rob has collected numerous New Zealand Music awards and his unique style of music that he has coined ‘Haka-soul’ has been performed and embraced all around the world.
Some of those awards include “Best Māori Album” (Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards 2014 and 2016), “Best Songwriter”, “Best Māori Song”, “Best Male Solo Artist” (Waiata Māori Music Awards) and the prestigious APRA Maioha Award in 2014 and 2016 for his waiata ‘Kariri’ and ‘Tiki Tapu.’ In addition, Rob has won numerous kapa haka awards for his leadership, tutor roles and compositions beginning with his first national award at the age of 17 for “Best Waiata Tira” at the Te Matatini of its time. These achievements have lead him to assume official roles as an ambassador for APRA AMCOS NZ, the Waiata Māori Music Awards and mentor to many young Māori artists including Kaaterama Pou, internet sensations the ‘Rū-cru’ and New Zealand’s hottest male soul artist TEEKS.
As a songsmith, Rob is acknowledged by his tribal elders as possessing; “a genius that lies in the rare ability of weaving together sound and rhythm to conjure emotions, that bring to life the lyrics of the song. His compositions are well known and his skill in the area of sung poetry is without compare amongst people of his age group.” (Rikirangi Gage, 2013)
This composition prowess has seen Rob judge the APRA Maioha Award for best Waiata Māori Composition, the highly coveted APRA Silver Scroll Award for excellence in composition and various VNZMA awards. As well as translating the soundtrack to the Disney animated film ‘Moana’, Rob was a consultant and performer on the award winning soundtrack for the movie ‘Mahana’ directed by Lee Tamahori (soundtrack by Tama Waipara and Mahuia Bridgeman-Cooper).
An acclaimed kapa haka exponent, Rob has also judged the quality and standard of this art form for the past 15 years at national and international competitions. He was a mentor and judge for the reality television series “The Kapa” where he trained the winning team and was an expert panelist for the live broadcast of the Te Matatini, 2017.
Rob’s music has seen him perform in front of many international audiences, collaborate with some of New Zealand’s finest musicians, open, support and host international artists such as John Legend and Justin Timberlake.
He has also lined up several international collaborations and with indigenous artists and producers to develop and extend the reach of indigenous consciousness through music.
In 2017, Rob will release his second album “Survivance” - a fresh presentation of festival soul & RnB tracks that promote the Māori nation as relevant, spirited, capable, connected, prophetic, morally courageous and unrelenting in their pursuit of self determination. - Rob Ruha Official Facebook Page