It does not take very much to recognise one of Tom’s main inspirations, as this has the stamp of Troy Kingi all over it, although one must say this is delivered with a much broader sense of humour. It is interesting to hear just how light-hearted this is, as the chorus has “My People Once Were Warriors”, a reference to what is widely regarded as the finest New Zealand film ever made, a violent and incredibly disturbing movie which included Cliff Curtis amongst its cast. The song is reggae lite, with a smooth pop hook, and is incredibly infectious so that when listening to it the only thing to do is to sway along with the groove and sing.
However, although there are some wonderfully serious touches and nuances within, some of the keyboard sounds are deliberately quite dated, and I am not sure the last time I heard a kazoo solo anywhere (possibly The Axis of Awesome?). The video follows a similar theme, filmed in dramatic black and white, starring the tamariki of Bohally Intermediate School kapahaka group, along with Tom performing either seriously or to get a rise out of the watcher. “I wrote this song to celebrate my people and their strength, resilience, and our whakapapa,” Tom said. “I want to inspire others to connect with their cultural roots, and to find pride and joy in who they are and where they come from.” Certainly, “joy” is a great way to describe this song which I thoroughly enjoyed, and I am sure many others will as well.