Māori maestro Troy Kingi up for Matariki Awards honour

By Raniera Harrison

Critically-acclaimed artist Troy Kingi (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Pikiao) is one of three nominees for this year's Te Waipuna-ā-Rangi Award for Arts and Entertainment at the 2019 Matariki Awards.

With his third studio album release just around the corner, Kingi says the timing couldn't be better.

He's also set a few personal goals to make sure it stacks up to its predecessors, "Hopefully you're going to see some shredded- get these rolls off this big boy so I can dance a bit better, so I can sing a bit high."

Kingi says he was pleasantly surprised by the recognition.

"I don't know actually what's going on out there, I'm just in here creating, doing stuff, put it out to the world, and then I come back and I don't even know what it's doing out there. So it's just buzzy."

Other nominees in the category include Māori high end fashion designer, Shona Tawhiao and Ainsley Gardiner, one of the masterminds behind Boy who also worked alongside Kingi on the movie The Pā Boys.

"To be honest, I don't really know Shona, but I'm pretty sure she's probably more qualified to get this award then me," says Kingi.

His third studio album, Holy Colony Burning Acres, will be released on July 13.  Kingi says the album has been about delving deeper into kaupapa.

"I've got waiata about West Papua, I got waiata about the Inuits, the last full-blooded Tasmanian woman- and in writing these songs, I've realised that our stories are exactly the same."

Kingi makes no secret that he wants to release 10 albums in 10 years and says his fans are in for a treat in 2020 when he is looking to release two albums.

"It's kind of a stage in the year to reflect and restart, reenergise, start of the Māori new year, it's the same as the Pākehā New Year."

Whichever new year is being celebrated, one thing is for sure- the sounds of this Māori star will make a great soundtrack.