Tomorrow People switch codes to release pop waiata

By Jessica Tyson

After 10 years of writing original reggae music, two albums and two EP’s, Tomorrow People are changing codes, switching lanes, and doing a cover.

The Wellington band has reinterpreted the 1964 hit Don’t Worry Baby in a pop style far from reggae but their core fans should still love it.

The original Beach Boys classic hit No 1 in the US and is featured on countless movie soundtracks.

Band producer Avina Kelekolio was watching one of these movies during a lazy Sunday afternoon, and when he heard the song he rushed to the studio to "have a jam".

“It was one of those songs I loved listening to growing up, it had a feel-good nature, and their harmonies were on point,” Kelekolio says.

What began as a piano jam turned into a full production where the band decided to record whatever felt right, even if it wasn’t the reggae style they were most known for.

“It was a conscious decision where we let the music dictate the direction, and if our audience like it, they like it,” band leader Tana Tupai says.

The single marks the fifth release of the year for the band which aims to drop one song on the first Friday of every month. In an effort to “go big or go home,” they hired LA-based engineer IRKO (David Guetta, Kanye West, Jennifer Lopez, Jay-Z, Pitbull) to mix and master the song, and engaged super director Shae Stirling to shoot two music videos that will be released in sequence.

“It’s a fun video that suits the style of the song, and we even got to sneak some of our kids in there,” Tupai says.

Tomorrow People are a seven-piece band, made up of Avina Kelekolio, Ara Savage, Snow Chase, Fredwyn Kisone, Duane Te Whetu, Hennie Tui and Tana Tupai.