Topics: Hawai'i, NZ Music

Rebel SoulJahz 'mad respect' for young artist General Fiyah

By Te Rina Kowhai
  • Auckland
  • North Island: East Coast

Hawaiian reggae artists Rebel SoulJahz and Eli Mac are in Auckland and will be performing at the East Coast Vibes festival held in Gisborne this Saturday.

From the streets of Waipahu, Rebel SoulJahz are happy to be back in Aotearoa. 

Filipino-American artist and first time visitor Eli Mac says she's blessed to have fans supporting her music.

Solo singer Eli Mac says, “I'm excited.  This is my first time here so thank you so much for bringing me out here.”


Rebel SoulJahz singer Will Sua’a says, “We are stoked, we're ready.  This is like a second home.  We can say this because we've been here so many times so we're ready.”

Mac says “It's (NZ) got a similar vibe to Hawaii.”

Both parties say where they are from is what influences their music.

Mac says “We're from paradise, from the islands, you know.  It's a beautiful place, how can you not be inspired by the ocean and the mountains?  I think that shows in our music and the chords that we use.”

Rebel SoulJahz singer Tunez Moananu says, “I see the music get a little turn for the island style you know what I mean.  Even within Disney for instance, they are pertaining more the stories towards our cultures and it's pretty cool for everybody to see, you know.”

Rebel SoulJahz are known for several number one hits including Nothing to Hide, The One, Play me like a Fool and Ms. Beautiful.

This year marks the bands 10th anniversary of their original tour in NZ alongside our very own Katchafire.

The band says they are huge fans of NZ reggae artists- in particular the youngest artist out with Three Houses Down.

Moananu says “The new boy- you know, General Fiyah.”

Rebel SoulJahz singer Andrew “Bubba” Hodges says “Watch Me! He is like a king in the making.”

Moananu says “We had the privilege of watching him last time were here for One Love.  They killed it right before us and I was like, ' I don't even want to sing anymore man'. This guy killed it.”

With the fifth album soon to be released in the last decade the veteran band says at times there can be challenges.

Hodges continues and says “we've been doing this thing for 10+ years now and we are writing more things about life and what people can relate to instead of just all about love.”

Last year, solo artist Eli Mac released her second album Tricky One and says more music is still to come.

Mac says “I'm just trying to keep evolving as a songwriter and as an artist and putting out more music in 2018."

The artists will be performing at Whiskey Tango Foxtrot in Manukau, Auckland tonight before heading to perform at East Coast Vibes tomorrow.