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 become a favourite on the 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. The result is an eclectic mix of reggae, electronic, blues, funk, and reggae. Since their inception, L.A.B have performed at almost every major festival across NZ, alongside multiple sold-out headline tours of Australia.
Released in November 2017, L.A.B’s self-titled debut showcased the multiple sides to the L.A.B sound. Upon its release, the album went straight to number one on the iTunes Album Charts, has spent over 100 weeks in the New Zealand Top 20 Album charts since release, and has been certified Platinum. The single ‘Controller’ has since become a modern NZ anthem, being certified Platinum nearly three years after its initial release.
Not willing to waste any time, the band were back in the studio less than four months after their debut’s release, with 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 80 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, being certified 2 x Platinum and the most-played song on NZ radio for over three months.
The following months have seen L.A.B perform NZ’s first arena shows in over three months, performing to sell-out audiences at Auckland’s Spark Arena and Hamilton’s Claudelands Arena. With L.A.B. III also being certified Platinum, the band are again back in the studio, set to follow up their breakthrough release with new material.