Sons of Zion Profile

Gareth Shute
5 Aug 2020

Sons of Zion broke big in early 2018, dominating local radio with their single ‘Drift Away’. As mainstays of the local reggae scene for over a decade they were hardly an overnight success – then again ‘Drift Away’ wasn’t a reggae song. It showed their increasing willingness to expand their sound and go wherever their inspiration took them.

By the time of ‘Drift Away’, the line-up of Sons of Zion had changed markedly from their first incarnation back in 2007, though three members had always provided the core of the band. Sam Eriwata and Joel Latimer knew each other from Edgewater College, then met Rio Panapa through their church, which also had a chapter in Rotorua where he lived. 

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Sons of Zion - Universal Love (Sony, 2013)
Sons of Zion - Homai Te Pakipaki Grand Final (2015)
Sons of Zion.
Photo credit: Publicity photo
Sons of Zion - Road Trip (2019)
Sons of Zion - Live It Up (2017)
Sons of Zion, Sydney show, 2019. 
Sons of Zion - Drift Away (live at VNZMA, Spark Arena, 15 November 2018)
Sons of Zion - Vantage Point (Sony, 2018)
Sons of Zion in Hawaii.
Sons of Zion, Ruia Aperahama poster, 2010.
Sons of Zion - Good Love (2012)
Sons of Zion at One Love (2017)
Sons of Zion – first EP, 2007. 
Sons of Zion - Fill Me Up (2016)
Sons of Zion - Come Home (lyric video, 2019)
Sons of Zion.
Photo credit: Publicity photo
Sons of Zion - Come Home (RNZ Live in Session, August 2019)
Sons of Zion ft Israel Starr - Stuck On Stupid (2015)
Sons of Zion ft. Aaradhna - Is That Enough (2017)
Sons of Zion in 2018: Matt Sadgrove, Joel Latimer, Caleb Haapu, Ross Nansen, Rio Panapa, Sam Eriwata.
Photo credit: Publicity photo
Sons of Zion - Drift Away (live at Niu FM studios, (2018)
Sons of Zion - Tell Her (2013)
Sons of Zion - I Am TV - Series One, Final Episode (2008)
Sons of Zion - Be With You (2009)
Sons of Zion.
Photo credit: Publicity photo
Sons of Zion in 2009: Joel Latimer, Marika Hodgson, Tawhiri Littlejohn, Rio Panapa, Sam Eriwata, Dylan Stewart.
Photo credit: Publicity photo
Sons of Zion in 2020: Ross Nansen, Joel Latimer, Caleb Haapu, Sam Eriwata, Matt Sadgrove, Rio Panapa.
Photo credit: Publicity photo
Sons of Zion - Drift Away (2018)
Sons of Zion – debut album advertisement, 2007. 
Sons of Zion at Opononi Hotel, 3 January 2019. 
RNZ: Live session: Sons of Zion feat. Aaradhna - Is That Enough (August 2017)
Sons of Zion tour poster, 2017. 
Sons of Zion ft. Pieter T - Be My Lady (2014)
Sons of Zion, Opononi Hotel
Sons of Zion, 2016.
Sons of Zion feat. Tomorrow People - Superman (2018)
Sons of Zion tour poster, 2019.
Labels:

Sony

Members:

Rio Panapa - vocals, guitar

Sam Eriwata - percussion, vocals, sampler, drums

Joel Latimer - keyboards

Matt Sadgrove - bass, keyboards, saxophone

Ross Nansen - drums

Caleb Haapu - vocals, guitars

Dylan Stewart - bass

Tawhiri Littlejohn - drums

Harlem McKenzie - guitar

Marika Hodgson - guitar

Curtis Wiringi - keyboards

Phil Peters - drums

Zane Graham - drums

Les Watene - guitar

Thabani Gapara - saxophone

Christian Mausia - trumpet

Trivia:

Matt Sadgrove co-wrote the Stan Walker song ‘Choose.’

Caleb Haapu is the brother of singer Seth Haapu

Sam Eriwata is the son of singer Richard Eriwata.