In 2019, before they’d even released anything officially, Ripple Effect were approached by Hawaiian group Rebel Souljahz with a support slot opportunity.
“We grew up listening to this band, so for us to get asked if we would like to open their NZ tour, that was insane!” says singer Hana Tamatea.
Ripple Effect formed at Palmerston North’s UCOL campus. One of their big influences is The Black Seeds, so they were stoked to have Nigel Patterson, the Seeds’ keyboard player, as a lecturer. Patterson has subsequently become a big supporter and mentor of Ripple Effect. Having a lecturer who is already living the musical dream gave the band motivation and inspiration to get there themselves. Hana says that all the UCOL lecturers (including Kane Parsons and Graham Johnston) were amazing, and even now will lend gear and advice if needed.
Their song Sway has racked up over 200,000 plays on Spotify.
“It’s a feel-good love song, written before Ripple Effect was officially Ripple Effect, as a personal project for Sage’s course work. His classmates and tutors realised the potential in it, which has now been borne out IRL and online, as the response from listeners has been enthusiastic, to say the least.”
Hana describes their sound as “…reggae fusion, full of energy. We like to sound as big as we can with the six of us.”
The team consists of Hana (vocals, percussion), Sage Tucker (rhythm guitar and vocals), Christian Perry (lead guitar), Jayden Thompson (bass), Phil Brooks (percussion), and Leon Tama (drums). And it really is a team.
“We’re all completely different people, but at the end of the day, the goal, and the mission, is music.”
With an EP released already, the next step is to get a full album out, “…to really let everyone know what our messages are”. They record and practice at legendary Palmerston North venue/studio The Stomach, and have tasked each other with writing four songs each to pick from.
“How lucky are we to have that space,” says Hana.
Hana’s mother is a singer, and her father was a kapa haka tutor, and she gives them full credit for her ending up doing what she’s doing. Hana says Ripple Effect is also like a family, everybody looking out for each other. Effusive praise is given to another Nigel (Mauchline, The Stomach’s sound engineer) for really capturing their sound.
Their goal for the rest of the year is to get the album written and recorded, and then start making some music videos. If Hana has her choice of video shoot locations, you should keep an eye out for Ripple Effect at a beach near you!