Award-winning musician Ria Hall recently released her second album Manawa Wera, and to celebrate, she performed this powerful live version of her track ‘Flow' at Wellington's Surgery Studios.
'Flow' was co-written and produced by Laughton Kora, and has been influenced not only by the personal journey Hall has been on since the release of 2017’s Rules of Engagement, but also the current political climate across the globe.
"Flow' is a love letter to my first born son, Te Rongotoa," Ria says, "This waiata was conceived while his world was consumed by water. 'Flow' likens the relationship between the tides and the moon to when a māmā carries and nurtures her pēpi in her kōpū (womb).
"Te Rongotoa and I hope you are staying well and safe with your loved ones during this unprecedented time, and we send our aroha to you all."
The video is the fourth in a series that includes 'Cause & Effect' and 'Owner', which were also performed live at The Surgery, and 'Walk', which Ria performed with legendary Wellington supergroup Fly My Pretties at Wellington's Massey University.
Ria Hall’s new album, Manawa Wera is inspired by the classic reggae and soul records of the 1970s and intends to “uphold the mana of Aotearoa reggae”. The record is inspired by Indigenous uprising around the globe.
While drawing influence from the likes of Steel Pulse, Bob Marley, Sly and Robbie and The Herbs, Manawa Wera above all sounds like Ria Hall, the sound of a wahine Māori.
Collaboration has been crucial, with Laughton Kora co-writing and producing, as well as singing and playing on the album.
The album was recorded at Wellington’s Surgery Studios with ‘Dr’ Lee Prebble and features an all-star reggae band including Ara Adams-Tamatea (L.A.B.), Wiremu Barriball (Katchafire), & Zane Graham (Sons of Zion, The Wailers).
Guest horns were arranged and lead by Warren Maxwell (Trinity Roots, Little Bushman), with percussion by Riki Gooch (Trinity Roots, Eru Dangerspiel).
Backing vocals are gifted from Hall’s friends Troy Kingi & Rob Ruha.
“Manawa Wera is a collection of songs that speak to my views, vision and experiences” Ria says, “In these testing times, and with the current social and political climate, it’s essential we remain passionate and fervent of heart.
“To be steadfast, bold and brave irrespective of the storm. These stories are told through music that sounds like the Earth is heaving. That is the essence of this record.”
Ria Hall’s new album Manawa Wera is out now.