L.A.B. was founded by the legendary Kora brothers Brad Kora (drums) and Stu Kora (guitar, keys) and quickly engaged the extraordinary talents of Joel Shadbolt on lead vocals & guitar, Ara Adams- Tamatea (Katchafire) on bass, & Miharo Gregory on keys.
The L.A.B. sound is one which has seen them quickly become a fan favourite on the New Zealand live circuit – trademark Kora grooves combining with Adams-Tamatea’s reggae/dub experience, and Shadbolt’s blues roots to create a sound entirely their own. Each member brings their own individual styles to the table, and the result is an eclectic mix of reggae, electronic, blues, funk, and reggae, even heading into country at points. Since their inception L.A.B. have performed at almost every major festival across New Zealand, and sold out a debut-headline tour of Australia.
Written across Tauranga and Whakatane, recorded in Wellington and tested on the road, L.A.B.’s self-titled debut album was released November 2017, and featured 12 tracks which brilliantly showcase the multiple sides to the L.A.B. sound – a unique blend of soulful-rock and electronic-funk. Upon its release, the album went straight to number one on the iTunes Album Charts, and has spent over 100 weeks in the New Zealand Top 20 Album charts since release and has been certified Gold.
Not willing to waste any time, the band were back in the studio less than four months after their debut’s release, and the new album L.A.B. II, released just in time for summer. The second album is, as the title suggests, the second chapter in the L.A.B. story, seeing a further 12 genre-bending tracks, and showing a band further honing their eclectic sound. Since release, the album has spent over 75 weeks in the New Zealand Top 20 Album charts, and has also been certified Gold.
Summer 2019 saw the band perform over a dozen shows including massive festival slots at One Love, Rhythm & Vines and Soundsplash. December 2019 saw the band fulfil its goal of releasing three albums in three years, with the release of L.A.B. III. Since release, their single ‘In The Air’ become the biggest track in NZ, hitting number one on the Official NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, the first independent local act to do so since 2012, and being certified 2 x Platinum. With L.A.B. III also being certified Gold, 2020 will see the hardest working band in NZ again return to the studio.
Ara Adams-Tamatea – Bass
Miharo Gregory – Keys
Brad Kora – Drums, Vocals
Stu Kora – Keys, Vocals
Joel Shadbolt – Guitar, Vocals