Summer vibes warm Coronet


Kiwi band Sons of Zion are known for their feel-good summer music.

But those same sunny vibes will be soup for the soul, warming fans in the snowy hills of Coronet Peak on Saturday night.

The six-piece band’s Queenstown gig is the final leg of their month-long national ‘Come Home’ tour promoting their new single of the same name.

The Auckland group, made up of Rio Panapa, Sam Eriwata, Joel Latimer, Matt Sadgrove, Ross Nansen and Caleb Haapu, has been playing to sold-out shows across the country.

Just a month after being released, Come Home is dominating airwaves — it’s currently the second-most-played song on Kiwi radio stations.

The latest tour is on the back of a successful 2018, having the most-played song on NZ radio for 11 weeks straight with their single Drift Away, as well as winning an NZ Music Award for Best Roots Artist.

Despite being known for songs that make you want to spend the day at a beach with good mates and a cold beer, Latimer believes their music can be enjoyed anywhere.

“It’s all about the energy of the crowd and atmosphere,’’ Latimer says.

“As long as people have a good time, and get up to dance and sing, then it doesn’t matter where you are, it’ll always be good for us.’’

While mostly known as a reggae band, the singer believes their style has evolved over time.

“We are incorporating RnB and pop elements to our music.’’

Over recent years the band’s felt more freedom to step outside the box and “just make music that we like without putting a filter on it’’.

Come Home is a pop tune and vastly different to the types of music the band was making seven or eight years ago, he says.

The magic that is Sons of Zion began at an east Auckland church in 2007, when Latimer, Panapa and Eriwata played together in the congregation’s band.

Over time, the other musicians got involved.

In the early days, their ambition was to be a support act for other iconic Kiwi musicians, such as Black Seeds and Katchafire, never dreaming they would one day headline their own tour.

“It’s been a step-by-step evolution, and we’re just so happy to be able to do what we love and play music for people.’’

With a mantra of always moving forward, the boys are looking to release a new EP, with about five or six songs, at the beginning of next year.

Sons of Zion play at Coronet Peak, Saturday night. The Elevate night ski party is free to attend. Lift passes $65. Night skiing is 4pm-9pm.