If you look at a successful and a renowned band today, one always wonders how they started until they gained a tremendous following around the world. But we all know that success doesn’t come easy. Every famous band must have worked hard to reach where they are today.

Is it amazing to find brothers coming together to form an incredible band. That is exactly the story behind the Kora band. The four brothers – Laughton, Fran, Brad and Stu Kora together with Dan McGruar form Kora and have taken New Zealand Dub scene by storm.

Quick Start Guide Kora:

First of all, their sound is powerful, stimulating and electrifying. The band can capture your heart in a moment and even hold you to each note played. These guys are not only gifted and passionate musicians with tremendous spirit, but they also have an incredible stage presence that aids them to entertain any audience leaving it desiring more!

It is insanely difficult to peg Kora in a particular genre – they have been named mysterious musical superheroes. In fact, the band has branded their latest sound alien funk, pretty cool huh 🙂

When the band started out, many predicted that Kora would be the next big thing. Considered historically as one of the sonically powerful and most electric live bands as well as its iconic status in the New Zealand music scene, the prediction has come true. Kora is a famous five-piece kiwi music band with tremendous live presence – the vocal harmonies sailing on a powerful rhythm section.

The band comprises of four brothers from the Kora family. Talented musicians, the four brothers, and Dan hail from Wellington and Whakatane, New Zealand. The group, which originally started in Whakatane, New Zealand combines elements of rock, reggae, roots, dub, funk, and recently dubstep and space funk elements.

The lineup of the band includes Laughton on guitar, vocals and keys, Brad on drums, Stuart on vocals and guitar, Francis on vocals and bass, and Dan McGruer on bass and keys.

Kora brothers started playing together in the early 90s in a band known as ’Aunty Beatrice’ that won the 1991 Rockquest contest and the Battle Of The Bands 3 years consecutively, receiving a release on the Tangata Records.

Dan McGruer is the only non-related band member. He studied commercial music at the Whitireia Community Polytechnic. He first met with Laughton Kora when they performed together in Queenstown’s Soul Charge band, writing and playing their music.

Following a collaboration in 2001 between McGruer and Laughton, Kora was established as a five-piece band in 2002 with the addition of brothers Francis, Brad and Stuart.

In early 2002, the leading band members McGruer and Laughton recorded a four-track demo while living in Queenstown, New Zealand. Later that year the demo attracted the attention of Wellington-based record label Recordings Aot(ear)oa who, in December, issued the track “Barely Can See” on their LOOP Select 004 collection album.

Two of the Kora brothers, Brad and Laughton, departed the band in 2013 and decided to form a new outfit known as L.A.B.

Career Highlights:

Kora’s first EP titled Volume was issued in late 2004 and attained platinum status in March 2007 with more than 10,000 copies sold. Featuring the tracks “Burning” and “Politician,” the band independently produced and released the EP, recorded at The Surgery by Lee Prebble and mastered by Chris Faiumu of Fat Freddy’s Drop.

The band’s self-titled first album was issued in October 2007, making onto the album charts at number one, only the second independently distributed album to achieve that status (the first was Fat Freddy’s Drop).

The album was recorded in New Zealand and mastered in London, UK by Kevin Metcalfe of The Soundmasters International. It’s sold more than 35,000 copies to date. It went double platinum in 2010.

The group followed it up with a somewhat unusual remix compilation, pulling 80s UK electronic act Cabaret Voltaire out from retirement to embark on the Kora! Kora! Kora! remix album in 2009, released via the UK label Shiva Records. They then toured the Australia, Singapore, Japan, and the UK.

Their second album Light Years was issued in late 2012, debuting at number one on the iTunes NZ chart and number two on the album charts. The album took the group almost one year and a half to record using their studio, just as they did for their debut album, with the group dealing with the production duties.

Most of the band members are involved in a side project, The Heavy Metal Ninjas, established in 2010 and led by their soundman, Richie Allen. Their first EP was unveiled in 2012.

In early 2014, Laughton appeared along with his fellow musicians, Annie Crummer, Don McGlashan, and Anika Moa in the second series of the TV show Songs From The Inside, coaching prison inmates on songwriting.

Kora Present Status:

Did not see any gigs planned so far in 2017. To be updated.