Kaaterama finalist for prestigious Maioha award

By Jessica Tyson

Solo artist Kaaterama Pou, of Ngāpuhi and Te Arawa, has been announced as a finalist for APRA Silver Scroll Maioha Award for her waiata, Paiheretia.

The Ngāpuhi-Te Arawa singer was born into a world of music through kapa haka and gospel himene whilst growing up in Te Haahi Rātana, Rātana Church. 

“The haahi has influenced me to stand strong and be brave in my music career and in life in general,” says Pou.

Kaaterama set to soar in solo career - Photo supplied

The 19-year-old started her journey as a female vocalist for Maimoa Music and has recently started working as a solo artist as well.

“Working with Maimoa is awesome.  I've learned so much about music and working together, she says.

“I like our efforts in revitalising te reo, and encouraging others to kōrero Māori.”

Pou says she was surprised and happy to be announced as a finalist for Paiheretia.

“Paiheretia is about Ihowa, it expresses my devotion to Him.”

Despite the challenges, there are many benefits of going solo, she says.

“The real benefits of this mahi to me is seeing the smiling faces, those who appreciate your songs and seeing my whānau proud of my work. Another benefit is being able to express my thoughts on today's main issues, according to our youth and our elders.”

Pou is a scholarship recipient at Parachute Studio, writing new music to be released next year, she says.

She was also a recipient of the Waiata Māori Music Award for Best Emerging Artist 2017 and features in the reality television series Voices of the Future.

In November 2018, Pou released her debut EP entitled Kia Kaaterama - Shine Your Light,  the first Māori-language youth-gospel EP to hit Aotearoa airwaves with charting success. 

She recently travelled to Taiwan and produced her first music video He Iti calling on indigenous youth across the globe to lead their countries in kaitiakitanga and environmental stewardship.  As a result, National Geographic travelled to Aotearoa July 2019 to film collaboration between Pou and Yosifu, world acclaimed visual artist - indigenous to the Amis tribe of Taiwan.

Also announced as finalists for the Maioha award are Tyna Keelan, Angelique Te Rauna, and Mātauranga Te Rauna for their waiata Ka Ao; Emily and Charles Looker for Korimako, performed by Aro and Mara Te Kahika and Cory Champion, for their waiata Te Kete Aronui performed by Mara TK.  

The Silver Scrolls awards are to be held on Wednesday, October 2 in Auckland.