The official All Blacks supporters song, “Team Ball Player Thing”, has recently been released by charity partner Cure Kids, featuring an impressive line-up of Kiwi entertainers and the players themselves ahead of the team’s international campaign.
More than 20 of New Zealand’s greatest musicians and performers, including Taika Waititi, Lorde, Sir Peter Jackson, Brooke Fraser and Joel Little collaborated to record the hilarious track, with the aim of raising funds to help cure Batten disease and supporting our All Blacks.
The team behind the song and video, directed by Taika Waititi, talked to kids about how the All Blacks could win and used their actual answers as the song lyrics, including the catchy name of the song – ‘Team Ball Player Thing’. These conversations, which involve Vikings, unicorns and getting Dave Dobbyn to sabotage the event by singing a supporters song for Australia, served as a major inspiration and have been brought to life in the official music video.
Joel Little lent his Grammy Award winning production skills to lay down the track.
“Basically Cure Kids came to me and said, 'We want you to produce a song for us that helps raise money and awareness for a great cause and is also kind of a joke rugby supporters' song, but also kind of a real rugby supporters' song, and also pretty radio-friendly, and features pretty much every New Zealand artist that exists on the planet right now," says Little.
Academy Award nominated Director, Taika Waititi, said he jumped at the chance to be involved.
“I’m pretty keen on any project that involves working with unicorns and Dave Dobbyn. But really, I am a dad now and seeing what some of the families who are affected by Batten disease are going through made it all the more worthwhile.”
The track and video features some of New Zealand’s best talent including Lorde, Gin Wigmore, Dave Dobbyn, Broods, Joel Little, Flight of the Conchords, Kimbra, The Naked and Famous, Savage, and Brooke Fraser among others, to make it uniquely Kiwi.
All Black Jerome Kaino stars in the video as a Viking wielding a sword that shoots lightning into the sky. Kaino said the video shoot was heaps of fun and a chance to be a big kid.
“The song is very cool, people are going to love it. For all these singers and actors to come together for such a great cause is pretty special. I had the easy part, dressing up as a Viking, but it was the kids that put in all the effort to write the song and the musicians to record it. The team is always keen to help Cure Kids in any way we can and we’re blown away by the support they’ve shown us with this song.”
Cure Kids is hopeful that the song will provide support for our boys on the field, and money raised from downloads will help fund ground breaking research for the kids who need it most.
“Team Ball Player Thing is a fun collaboration, but behind it is a real Kiwi effort find a cure for Batten disease and support our beloved All Blacks. It’s a huge honour to have such an incredible line up of talent involved, especially for a small country, that punches well above its weight on the rugby field and in the field of medical research,” says Cure Kids Interim CEO, Dellwyn Stuart.
Batten disease is an inherited collection of illnesses affecting the brain with the effects comparable to a child having a combination of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, epilepsy and blindness. New Zealand led research, conducted through the University of Otago and Lincoln University, has been financially supported by Cure Kids and is actively working towards a cure for this disease.
Supporters can download the official song for free when they make a donation at www.kiwiscurebatten.com or by purchasing the song for $2.49 through iTunes.
Cure Kids will also utilize #donate; an innovative new technology from US-based, Kiwi-led company GoodWorld, to allow fans to contribute directly to #KiwisCureBatten on Facebook and Twitter simply with the use of a hashtag. GoodWorld was founded by Invercargill woman, Dale Pfeifer.
Join the conversation online by using #KiwisCureBatten and #CureKidsNZ or watch the video here: https://youtu.be/1voi7Z4CsLs. The full video (including the contributing children) can be found here: https://youtu.be/tcwuPTlQSxI.
Photography credit: Carmen Bird