Tane Tokorangi is the frontman of seven-piece roots, reggae band Sun Salute – a conscientious collective based in Far North Queensland, whose philosophy is both simple and infinitely complex: to use the power of music for healing and change.
“We all come from different backgrounds. There's seven of us in the band. What we create at the moment is our life experiences transposed into music. We want to share that with the people that listen to it. We hope they understand it and take something away from it.”
Tane greets the day early, spending a large chunk of his time at the beach waiting for that next burst of inspiration to strike. “I’m up quite early in the morning, down at the beach.
“I do music full-time. For the most part, I’m searching for ways to create music and a lifestyle that aligns with my morals and tries to make the world a better place. . . without sounding too cliché.”
Sun Salute have recently released their debut album ‘Time Has Come’, which has been in the works for three years. “It’s a huge relief for me, personally. . . It's been three years in the making and the music is finally out!” enthuses Tane.
“Now I can clean up the hard drive; now is the time that we can work on new material. . . we spent so much of our time working on the album, waiting for it to come out. But now that it's out, I'm fully stoked, over the moon; and because I’m my own worst critic, I don’t think I’ve found anything that I’m like 'f... I wish I had done that better'.”
Sun Salute pride themselves on being a melting pot of culture and heritage, gaining inspiration from a multitude of world influences. The band's latest single, 'Dancehall Riddim', while not indicative of any one member's direct lineage, was inspired by Tane’s trip to Jamaica and the affinity he found in the soul and rhythm that he says Jamaican culture innately possesses.
“'Dancehall Riddim' was released after a trip to Jamaica. I went there on a cultural exchange from New Zealand to Jamaica. At that stage, I had just been introduced to the dancehall genre of music; that’s when Sean Paul and Shaggy were coming on the scene, and I got really into it. [Dancehall] has got this real soca, juicy rhythm about it.
“I felt that everywhere I went and explored, everyone just had rhythm. Like, it was ingrained into their culture. You’d see kids on the side of the road drumming away at pot and pans – it was really musical. Everybody had music surrounding them. 'Dancehall Riddim' is inspired by their culture and how everyone had a rhythm.”
With the release of 'Time Has Come', the Sun Salute crew are embarking on an east-coast tour this month. “If I had to pick one place that I REALLY love to play at, it would be Reggae Nights at the Beach Hotel in Byron [Bay],” Tane says, shedding light on his favourite place to play.
“What better way to expose our music?! Personally, I prefer smaller stages and ones where we're on the ground with the people, that way we can almost physically connect with them – they’re getting down with us, while we're getting down with them. Eyes to eyes, nose to nose, foot to foot, going hard.”
The new year will see the Sun Salute crew pulling out all stops, going full throttle coming off the back of their 'Time Has Come' tour. With applications for some big festivals underway and a west-coast tour happening in May, you better get used to seeing these guys popping up all over the place.
Sun Salute 2019 Tour Dates
Fri 6 Dec - The Fyrefly (Melbourne)
Sat 7 Dec - Wine Folk Festival (Mornington Peninsula)
Sun 8 Dec - Henry's Rooftop (Sydney)
Mon 9 Dec - Beach Hotel (Byron Bay)
Thu 12 Dec - The Bearded Lady (Brisbane)
Fri 20 Dec - Northerlies (Airlie Beach)
Sat 21 Dec - X-Base (Magnetic Island)
Sun 22 Dec - Yatch Club (Port Douglas)