The Slacks new bilingual song has a Slice of Heaven feel to it video

The Slacks

Big Aroha by The Slacks is set to become New Zealand's summer anthem.

A kiwiana song with a music video filmed in a dairy could be New Zealand's next big summer anthem.

The video for Big Aroha by The Slacks is jammed packed with classic summer scenes, like backyard cricket, while the song itself is filled with classic Kiwi phrases.

The catchy bilingual creation is a feel good number pumped full of messages of unity, love, and community.

Andy Jackson & The Slacks

Band members talk about the meaning behind Big Aroha, the rolling vibe and who their favourite Slack is.

There's something iconic and memorable about this tune. It feels like it's destined to become a hit. It's got that happy, Slice of Heaven feel to it.

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The story for Big Aroha goes all the way back to the days of the old school yard in Inglewood, Taranaki, the Slacks lead singer Mark Armstrong said.

Scott Armstrong and Mark Armstrong formed the Slacks back in 1999.
ANDY JACKSON

Scott Armstrong and Mark Armstrong formed the Slacks back in 1999.

As a young fella Mark had a chat with his Maori mate Joe at the bus outside the Inglewood dairy.

They talked about the importance of community and manaakitanga and Mark said it really struck a chord with him.

Decades later, the music video is set mainly in a 4Square in Moturoa New Plymouth, but it also features towns from across the North Island, like Otorohanga, Pio Pio and Urenui. 

The other members of the band are Blake Gibson, pictured, and Zane Greig.
ANDY JACKSON

The other members of the band are Blake Gibson, pictured, and Zane Greig.

The video has clocked up more than 50,000 views in a matter of days, and it's had a stream of positive online comments, including multiple suggestions that it should be New Zealand's new national anthem.

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"John Key couldn't change the flag, but let's see if he could change the national anthem," Mark said, laughing. 

The Slacks have been around since Mark and his brother Scott Armstrong formed it in 1999 as a means to avoid joining the work force.

The opening lines of their new song are "Big aroha, that is my tikanga. I learnt te reo from a maori at the dairy, bro."
ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ

The opening lines of their new song are "Big aroha, that is my tikanga. I learnt te reo from a maori at the dairy, bro."

The band is made up of the Armstrong brothers, as well as Blake Gibson, and Zane Greig.

Gibson said the reaction to the release of the song, which was blessed at Parihaka, had been crazy. 

"Lots of expats are saying it's making them homesick," he said. 

The Slacks feature, from left to right, Scott Armstrong, Blake Gibson, Mark Armstrong, and Zane Greig.
ANDY JACKSON

The Slacks feature, from left to right, Scott Armstrong, Blake Gibson, Mark Armstrong, and Zane Greig.

"This song, the message, it puts that shiver up your spine. It's a real song, with a real message, a message that needs to be taken on more."

The band's music has been described as country ska, progressive hillbilly, fizz pop and rocky, rock, rock.

Both Mark and Gibson said the band was just real people, making real music. 

"The only filter this music has gone through is us," Mark said. 

"There's not a record company or funding from New Zealand on Air. It's us." 

* The Slacks are touring the North Island in December.  They play: Auckland, Winecellar, Thursday December 8. Mt Manganui, Mt Mellick, Friday December 9. Gisborne, Dome Bar and Cinema, Saturday December 10. Wellington, San Fran Bathouse, Wednesday December 14. Apiti, Apiti Tavern, Friday December 16. Oakura, Butlers Reef, Saturday December 17. 

 - Stuff

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