Rob Ruha and Maisey Rika opening acts for John Legend

By Wepiha Te Kanawa
  • Auckland

Two of Māoridom's singing superstars are the opening act for another singing legend tonight. Rob Ruha and Maisey Rika will be singing at the John Legend concert and they hope to give the singing sensation a small taste of New Zealand.

These are the voices opening John Legend's sold out concert and they're all award winning Māori artists.

Rob Ruha says, “I don't know why they picked us, but it's such an honour, perhaps it's because his songs and their themes are so deep. He's an indigenous person as well.”

Maisey Rika started out playing at venues like here at the Auckland town hall and she believes this will be one of her toughest gigs yet.

“I sent out a request to those on Facebook asking what songs they would like to hear, and some of them we'll be practising for tonight,” says Maisey Rika.

It has been a huge year for Rob Ruha, winning an APRA award and a Vodafone music award. The descendant of Te Whānau-a-Apanui says this performance will give the Māori music industry a push.

Rob Ruha says, “We are promoting our language, promoting facial moko, promoting talented Māori singers, so it's not just a night for us three, but for every Māori person.”

For Maisey, the reality of opening for John Legend is just sinking in.

“He's a pro, he's a talented song writer, he stands up for people who are less fortunate and for the environment as well,” says Rika.

Rob and Maisey have a small piece of greenstone they hope to give John Legend if they get to meet him after tonight's performance.

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