Māori Language Week - Music to Celebrate
This year marks 21 years celebrating Māori language in NZ - after Te Reo Māori was made an official language in New Zealand in 1999. While many of us may not be able to korero Te Reo Maori, we can all come together and celebrate with some amazing Maori music!
If you went to school anywhere in NZ, it's pretty easy to assume you know the song "Tutiro Mai Nga iwi ("aue!!")" or the colour songs - but do you know some of these bops that celebrate our amazing Kiwi culture..?
Aotearoa - Stan Walker Ft Ria Hall, Troy Kingi, Maisey Rika
This song came out as part of Māori Language week 2014 and is a great way to have a jam and learn some Te Reo from our favourite Kiwi singers. (I remember listening to this in Europe on my way to school almost everyday..) The song features a modern twist on our national anthem making it much easier to remember and understand - ready for all of those All Blacks games yet to come!
2. Wairua - Maimoa
Maimoa are a growing Māori group here in Aotearoa with some amazing bops bringing a new flavour to Te Reo Māori. Their hit 'Wairua' has over 9 million views on Youtube and is great to jam to in your car! We recommend giving them a listen to next time you're streaming, or pop over to Youtube and check out some of their wicked choreography!
3. Poi E - Patea Maori Club
Possibly one of the most popular Māori songs (with the exemption of the National Anthem) Poi E is a kiwi classic. The song originated in 1982 from a collaboration between Māori linguistic Ngoi Pewhairangi and musician Maui Dalvanius Prime. Their intention was to connect "modern urban Māori" into their roots - which this song definitely does. It's a great song to practice some Poi twirling or dance around your living room to!
4. Kia Mau Ki To Ukaipo / Don't Forget Your Roots - Six60
Of course, New Zealand's favourite boy band Six60 got involved in Māori Language, bring out a cover in Te Reo Māori of their hit "Don't Forget Your Roots". They recorded it as part of Māori Language Week 2019 - as part of the album "Waiata/Anthems". With the translation, there came a slight difference in the meaning of the song; Marlon explained. "Instead of 'not forgetting your roots' it was 'take who you are and where you’re from with you if you go away'". It's quite heart warming if you asks me, and encourages us to get on the right path in life right?
5. Tangaroa Whakamautai - Maisey Rika
For something a little more traditional, Maisey Rika is New Zealand's stunning songstress to check out. Her most popular hit, Tangaroa Whakamautai is a gorgeous waiata her powerful voice in Te Reo Māori. The music video has almost hit 6 million views on Youtube and is just beautiful.
Whether you're fluent in Te Reo Māori or just a beginner - there's something for everyone to appreciate some kiwi music and appreciate our Māori culture. If you want to have a sing along, a quick google will give you all of the lyrics you need to get amongst the Te Reo Māori music.
What Māori songs do you recommend listening to?