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Remembering Reuben Samuel Winter (Totems, milk, Caroles, Bandicoot, KCB)

Remembering Reuben Samuel Winter (Totems, milk, Caroles, Bandicoot, KCB)

Chris Cudby / Photo credit: Jordan Wilson-Grell / Monday 21st September, 2020 3:38PM

We are deeply saddened to share the news Reuben Samuel Winter (Waitaha / Kāi Tahu / Te Aupōuri / Te Rarawa / Ngāti Kuri) died by suicide on Thursday 17th September aged 26. Reuben's passing was announced by his mother Iona Winter on Saturday, prompting an outpouring of appreciation for his inspirational and diverse work as a recording artist and performer, and as an energising key figure in our community.

Making his mark with local crowds in Bandicoot long before he was legally allowed to attend gigs solo, Reuben's love for music couldn't be pinned down to one single project. He maintained a staggeringly prolific output despite living with pain due to fibromyalgia — his solo work concurrently included Totems and milk, and he played and recorded with such crucial groups / collectives as Caroles, Kerosene Comic Book (K.C.B.), P.H.F., Roidz, Cindy and lots more. Reuben could always be relied upon to be insightful, masterful and furiously inventive in whichever medium he chose, as a DJ, electronic producer, singer / lyricist, guitarist, drummer and everything in-between. A regular presence on this site, Reuben's generous and open spirit elevated all occasions, we'll miss him dearly.

His partner Grace Verweij shared a statement from Reuben's whānau, encouraging those who wish to pay their respects:

" lieu of flowers, koha is appreciated to Music Helps

Please take care of one other - openness, communication and aroha are so so important right now

If you are feeling vulnerable:

Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor
Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP)
Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
Healthline – 0800 611 116"

Reuben Winter's friend and musical collaborator Emma Hall-Phillips (Bad Friend, Aw B) kindly shared words with UTR about his huge impact on our community...

"I have nothing to say apart from Reuben has left a giant hole in mine and this community's hearts. He helped shaped mine and many others lives and musical journeys in so many ways. He was and will always be a huge inspiration to myself. I love and will miss this beautiful boy so much and I know everyone who has ever met him will feel the same."

Ian Jorgensen (A Low Hum) shared a heartfelt and in-depth tribute, reflecting on his personal experiences working with Reuben and his musical legacy over on his Facebook page here.


Reuben’s recent passing has hit me hard, but the legacy he leaves behind is indisputable and I count myself lucky to...

Posted by Ian Jorgensen on Sunday, 20 September 2020


Amongst countless online tributes to Reuben Winter over the weekend were these words from Martyn Pepperell...


Watch milk bust out an electrifying version of 'Sugar Glider' for 95bFM's Drive Island in mid-2019...

Check out a magical live clip of Totems performing in a forest at Camp A Low Hum 2013...

Listen to a mix by Reuben Winter, recorded in 2017 for Cosmic Compositions...


If you are concerned about yourself or a friend please reach out to Lifeline at 0800 543 354.


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