NewTracks New Artist: Muroki

NewTracks New Artist: Muroki

By now just surfing the break from his teenage years, Muroki has been making waves of the musical kind in Raglan since high school days, having realised as a 14-year-old that music was his calling. The singer/songwriter/musician and producer makes music that incorporates reggae, pop, jazz, R&B and hip hop influences, and alongside his solo project also plays in a couple of local bands. Wavy is the thoroughly apt name of his new single that caught the attention of NZ On Air who added the song to their NewTracks compilation this March.

What’s your given name, where are you from and what instruments do you play?

My full name is Muroki Mbote Wa Githinji. I am a Kenya / Kiwi and I grew up in Raglan. I play the guitar, bass and drums/percussion.

Was any high school or other music training especially important to you?

School taught me about band dynamics and how to lead one, but not so much for learning my instruments. I have had two guitar teachers, Nicky Keys and Peter Skandera, but I’m self-taught on the other instruments.

Any other projects might we know you from?

I’ve played in two other bands, Cloak Bay and Masaya. I started Cloak Bay with a friend Lennox Reynolds (artist name Meanwhile) and I play bass in Masaya.

What’s the background of how Muroki as a project came to be? 

It literally just started with me fooling around on GarageBand. I always wanted to have a solo project because I like having creative freedom and control of my own work. So when I recorded this song, For Better Or Worse, I decided to release it under my own name. I do have a band though when I play live.

How has your writing evolved from your beginnings in songwriting?

I’ve been working with producers Djeisan Suskov and Josh Fountain for my next project. Working with these two has developed my songwriting so much. They are constantly teaching me new things and helping me strengthen all of my weak spots.

Aside from this release, what’s been the big highlight to date?

Definitely the Benee tour, Spark Arena in particular.

What makes Wavy stand out for you as a single?

It’s probably my catchiest tune!

What’s the story behind Wavy?

Wavy was written about a fantastic psychedelic trip I had at a music festival. I was lucky enough to share this profound experience with a girl that I had recently met, so the song describes some of the crazy visuals and feelings I was having and how all I wanted to do, was to continue dancing with her.

What’s your favourite moment of the single?

The chorus.

Who did you write/produce the single with? 

I wrote this song with Djeisan Suskov. We honestly just thought it would be funny to write a song about this experience.

What would you like listeners to take away from this song?

Whatever they feel like taking!

How do you generally work out what song would make a good single?

When ya know, ya know!

Who else is in your team (ie. producer, management, label, publicity etc.?)

Management (CRS) – Campbell Smith, Poppy Tohill. Record Label (Olive) – Stella Bennett, Trieste Douglas, Poppy Tohill. Booking Agent (Village Sounds) – Julian Carswell

Can you please name three other local tunes that would fit well on a playlist alongside your song..

Fat Freddy’s DropMother Mother
Batucada Sound MachineHe Said She Said

Are there any musical blogs, Youtube channels or podcasts you are super into?

Jake Zeeman


New Tracks is a compilation of new music from New Zealand artists which is distributed to broadcast and online platforms on the first of each month. Previously the Kiwi Hit Disc, New Tracks is one of the ways that New Zealand on Air promotes kiwi music to the industry, radio, streaming services, and media. To apply for New Tracks you must have a completed, airplay-ready song and a promotional plan.