Who we are
Riffraff was the brainchild of Rawiri Mckinney who has since pulled an awesome team together which is getting bigger and bigger as word gets out. If you want to be involved get in touch.
The Smokefree Rock Quest and Battle of the Bands are two iconic platforms that have mentored artists from Zed to Bic Runga from Julia Deans to Alien Weaponry from Che Fu to Opshop. Not many successful kiwi artists come out of the Idol and X factor shows as most of our musicians morphed out of school music rooms and garages.
Rawiri felt that there was something he could do to support these platforms and dig even deeper into our young talent. Riffraff was born and the idea to provide an online platform to showcase our Generation Z musos was born.
Ra was in a number of school and youth bands playing in school halls mates places and later even at the iconic Mainstreet and Gluepot. He does admit to being very disappointed to have missed the punk scene in Auckland by being several years too young.
Music teacher with a difference
He chose education as his profession and was a music teacher with a difference. Whether kapa haka school bands, musicals choirs or orchestras he loved it. He even taught singers who went on to star in bands like Nesian Mystic, Sons of Zion and Random in Australia. Not claiming any part of their greatness apart from loving music.
Ra has played with Nathan King from Zed fame, Andy Lynch and James Reid from the Feelers and even jammed with George Michael, a long story there lol. His highlight was accompanying Beverly Morrison (Beaver) on the keys, an exceptional kiwi iconic jazz musician. So many great memories. He himself is in several bands as are the collection of supporters in his team.
Recently Ra has worked tirelessly with college bands in the Bay of Plenty and wanted to give them more opportunities than he had growing up. Ra laments his school band wasn’t even allowed to play rock music and had to do ballads. Schools like Bethlehem College in Tauranga even have a band teacher now how amazing would that have been?
This Riffraff music community is not only his dream it is the dream of his team and the many college kids whether lying there in bed at night or sitting daydreaming at their desks. Music is for everyone and if you can’t play it the next best thing is to listen to it.
“Rawiri has been a huge support for our school bands for the past couple of years. He offers great mentoring for bands. Often bands need an outlet and he has provided this for us with spaces to perform live and broadcasted the bands live on the radio. Thanks Rawiri.”
Nathan Horner HOD music Bethlehem College Tauranga
“Rawiri McKinney has been an active and enthusiastic supporter of musicians at Ōtūmoetai College over the past 5 years. This has included him coming into the school to mentor groups, organising events around town involving students from a range of high schools, and promoting local music live to air on local radio. These opportunities allow young musicians the chance to experience elements of the multifaceted and ever changing music-industry but more importantly it offers students the opportunity to meet, socialise, and make music with like-minded and goal-oriented students from within the same community. The creation and maintenance of these networks is vital in any community so the flame can be passed to younger generations to promote and endorse local musical events and gatherings in the future. I am excited about the work Rawiri intends to do in the future and I support him ardently in his endeavours.
Many thanks for all your support.”
Matthew Bodman HOD Music Otumoetai College Tauranga
“Rawiri has been a great help for our Papamoa College bands. Providing us with regular performances so they can learn the ropes of putting on a show, setting up fast, sound checking etc. He even showed the kids how to do an interview on the radio.
We look forward to continuing our music relationship with him, and can’t wait to perform at his new venue.”
Kurt Somervell, Band Teacher and Head of Music tuition Papamoa College
“Ra is an awesome guy who knows his stuff and can open so many doors for young college bands. I had the privilege of being in one of those bands and it was a big eye opener to what an awesome career in music could look like. He was a big help in making our music sound more professional than a typical college band trying to make it by inspiring us to not be afraid to try new things and his honesty with our music made all the difference. Would definitely recommend. “
Bianca – Year 13 student Tauranga
“Ra has provided me and my band with some awesome performance opportunities. I think that he is amazing at organising, supporting young musicians and passionate about what he does.”
Jack – Victoria University Wellington
“Ra is always super approachable and he always gave me and my band heaps of opportunities to showcase our music, he’s really passionate about supporting up and coming musicians and I think you can tell that through his enthusiasm “
Isaac – Otago University Dunedin
“I’ve been working with Rawiri for 2 years now, receiving a lot of encouragement and support. He’s given me several opportunities to share my music with larger audiences and connect with other musicians/ artists that share similar goals. So excited to be a part of the new project!”
Bree – Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand (MAINZ) Auckland