Maimoa Music releases new reggae song at One Love

By Jessica Tyson

Māori pop group Maimoa Music wowed the crowd at the One Love festival in the weekend after releasing their new reggae song Hurō. 

“It’s about celebrating summer, raumati, being happy, going to the beach, to the river, doing some manus,” says group member Tawaroa Kawana.

The word hurō means joy and happiness in te reo Māori and Maimoa members say the crowd loved listening to the song for the first time.

“To feel the energy of the crowd was proof that Māori language music’s mean and it’s alive, and we’ve got a whole culture of people that are willing to back us – 20,000 people to be exact,” says members Nathaniel Howe and Raniera Blake.

Group member Pere Wihongi says it was their first time performing at an event of this size and a highlight was having the crowd respond in te reo Māori.

“For us personally the message is getting across that [with] te reo Māori there are benefits. That’s always been our foundations from when we began, says Wihongi.

“So I think the fact that that message is spreading to bigger audiences like this is not only proof but its reassurance for us.”

Group member Puawai Taiapa says it was her first time attending the festival and being able to perform there was “amazing”.

“The vibes, the energy that we receive. Even just being able to share with everyone,” she says.

The group says artists who they enjoyed watching the most at One Love included Stan Walker, as well as 11-year-old General Fiyah from Three Houses Down.

“Gotta give a shout out to the brother Stan. He was like another Māori artist going out there, says the group.

“Big ups to the brother General Fiyah. He’s young as and he’s cracking it,” they say.

Maimoa’s main focus is to deliver songs in te reo Māori. They released their first hit, Maimoatia, in 2016 followed by We Are Human and Wairua in 2017.

Wihongi says the group expects to have Hurō available for people to download on iTunes by the end of February.

Maimoa is made up of 12 artists; Pere Wihongi, Tawaroa Kawana, Puawai Taiapa, Hoeata Maxwell-Blake, Mereana Teka, Awatea Wihongi, Nathaniel Howe, Raniera Blake, Makaira Berry, Te Awhina Kaiwai-Wanikau, Metotagivake Shmidt-Peke, Kia Kaaterama Kiri-Pou.