Shepherds Reign


Shepherds Reign had always written songs from their personal experience, but it was as they added aspects of their Samoan culture into their music that they took off. The rhythms of the Pacific were recreated on thundering toms and combined with the traditional pātē (hollow log drum), with vocals screamed out in Samoan. The band blew up online with fans around the world and was nominated for the prestigious Taite Award in 2024.

Frontman Filiva’a James traces his love of metal back to first seeing the Guns N’ Roses music video for ‘November Rain’ as a five-year-old, although his early training in music was as a classical pianist. Oliver Leupolu also learnt classical piano as a teenager and gained the nickname “Mozart”, but started playing more contemporary music with his drummer friend Shaymen Rameka.

Shepherds Reign with their SunPix Best Pacific Language award at the 2021 Pacfic Music Awards.
Shepherds Reign (L-R): Gideon Voon, Shaymen Rameka, Filiva'a James, Oliver Leupolu, Joseph Oti-George.
Oliver Leupolu of Shepherds Reign at Others Way Festival in 2022. 
Photo credit: Gareth Shute
Shepherds Reign - Ua Masa'a
Shepherds Reign - Nafanua
Joseph Oti-George of Shepherds Reign at the Powerstation in 2022.
Photo credit: Doug Peters
Shepherds Reign (L-R): Gideon Voon, Oliver Leupolu, Filiva'a James, Joseph Oti-George, Shaymen Rameka.
Shepherds Reign (L-R): Gideon Voon, Joseph Oti-George, Filiva'a James, Shaymen Rameka, Oliver Leupolu.
Shepherds Reign - Concrete Walls official music video (2018)
Shepherds Reign - Ala Mai album cover (2023)
Shepherds Reign at Whammy Bar for Others Way Festival in 2022. L to R: Gideon Voon, Filiva'a James, Joseph Oti-George
Photo credit: Gareth Shute
Shepherds Reign at Blacken Open Air Festival in Arrernte Country, Australia, 2022.
Shepherds Reign cover Motorhead's Iron Fist (2023)
Shepherds Reign at Ding Dong Lounge in 2018.
Photo credit: Chris Morgan, Morgan Creative
Shaymen Rameka of Shepherds Reign at the Powerstation in 2022.
Photo credit: Doug Peters
Shepherds Reign live at Big Fan (2023)
Shepherds Reign at the Auckland Town Hall in 2022.
Photo credit: Chris Morgan, Morgan Creative
Shepherds Reign - Nga Au E Rua
Gideon Voon and Filiva'a James from Shepherds Reign playing at Whammy Bar for Others Way Festival in 2022.
Photo credit: Gareth Shute
Shepherds Reign - Le Manu
Filiva'a at the Powerstation in 2022.
Photo credit: Doug Peters
Shepherds Reign: Joseph Oti-George, Gideon Voon, Filiva'a James, Oliver Leupolu and Shaymen Rameka.
Shepherds Reign - Legend
Shepherds Reign - Legend (acoustic version), 2020.
Early publicity photo of Shepherds Reign as a four piece: Gideon Voon, Filiva'a James, Oliver Leupolu, Shaymen Rameka.
Shepherds Reign performs at Spring Hill Prison (2021)
Shepherds Reign with Fili holding a nifo'oti. From left: Shaymen Rameka, Gideon Voon, Filiva'a James, Oliver Leupolu, Joseph Oti-George.
Shepherds Reign - Aiga
Shepherds Reign - Finally - Guitar play through by Gideon Voon (2023)
Shepherds Reign
Shepherds Reign and Anuanua Dance Troupe at the 2018 SunPix Pacific Peoples Awards
Shepherds Reign perform Le Manu at the Pacific Music Awards (2020)
The world of Shepherds Reign, a mini-documentary (2020)
Shepherds Reign with the crowd at Auckland Town Hall in 2020.
Photo credit: Chris Morgan, Morgan Creative
Trivia:

Joseph Oti-George competed against Alien Weaponry at Smokefreerockquest and his band came second to them, then won the competition the following year once Alien Weaponry were no longer at high school to take part.

Members:

Filiva'a James - vocals, keyboards, pātē

Oliver Leupolu - guitar

Shaymen Rameka - drums

Gideon Voon - guitar

Joseph Oti-George - bass

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