Ria Hall Profile

Hussein Moses
22 Jan 2019

Born and raised in Maungatapu, Tauranga, bilingual singer Ria Hall used her hometown’s history as inspiration for her powerful debut album, Rules of Engagement. The title came from a letter that Henare Taratoa (Ngāi Te Rangi) sent in 1864 to the first Governor of New Zealand, Sir George Grey, outlining a code of conduct for The Battle of Gate Pā (Pukehinahina) – a key battle of the New Zealand Wars. Both political and personal, the 2017 album established Hall as one of the most thoughtful voices in New Zealand music.

As a student at Tauranga Girls’  College, Hall listened to Che Fu’s groundbreaking album 2b S.Pacific over and over again while studying for exams. “2b S.Pacific changed the entire hip-hop, soul and R&B scene in New Zealand,” she remembers. “It was such a necessary record at the time. I just found it really inspiring that he was Māori/Niuean and representing unashamedly what was possible in the New Zealand music scene for someone of a Polynesian persuasion.”

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Ria Hall and the Modern Māori Quartet perform Ten Guitars at the 2016 Matariki Awards
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Ria Hall - They Come Marching
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Ria Hall.
Photo credit: Jess Dewsnap
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Ria Hall, APRA Silver Scroll Awards, 2018.
Photo credit: Michael Flynn photography
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Ria Hall - Black Light Ft Mara TK
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Stan Walker, Ria Hall, Troy Kingi, Maisey Rika - Aotearoa (2014)
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Ria Hall - Best of Me (2012)
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Ria Hall.
Photo credit: Jess Dewsnap
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Ria Hall.
Photo credit: Jess Dewsnap
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Stan Walker feat. Ria Hall - Like It's Over (2013)
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Ria Hall - Tell Me Feat. Che Fu
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Ria Hall, APRA Silver Scroll Awards, 2018.
Photo credit: Michael Flynn photography
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Ria Hall - Love Will Lead Us Home
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Ria Hall - Te Ahi Kai Pō
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Ria Hall.
Photo credit: Jess Dewsnap
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