Young Māori musician Huia-Moana Shortland (Ngati Hine, Ngāpuhi, Ngāi Te Rangi) is taking te reo to new spaces.
The 2020 Global Mutual Theme video for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has been launched and their song was translated into Māori for the first time.
Selected out of hundreds of applicants, Shortland had the honour of performing the song for their global audience.
For the 17-year-old Northland-based student, it was an opportunity to showcase important traits that she identifies with:
"I was able to show the world, the two aspects that make me who I am, being a follower of Christ and being Māori, and I felt like this could be a voice for not only our generation but for future generations to come.
"Growing up, there wasn't a lot of Māori representation in the church for me, so after this, I felt like I'm it really for myself and maybe others."
"Tukuna te Ara" - LDS Youth Theme song for 2020 filmed at Matapouri Beach, Northland. Source / Facebook
Each year, the church releases a Youth theme Music video aimed to uplift taiohi world-wide.
Shortland also acted in the original version of the song. It was released by the church last week and already has over two hundred thousand views.
When the opportunity came for the song to be translated into Māori, Shortland knew of nobody better.
"I already had someone in mind to help me translate it, teacher and member in our stake, Papa Mōrere Piripi."
Piripi is a teacher at her school, Te Kāpehu Whetū and attends her local parish (stake).
Shortland explains the meaning of the song, “You’re never alone, that you always loved, whether it's by our Heavenly Father, or ngā Ātua Māori or whoever you believe in, that you always have someone to look to, and especially in today’s time, there is a lot of issues on rangatahi Māori and I hope that through this song its cool to be not okay, sometimes but you can always look to somewhere better."
What are the plans next for this kaiwaiata?
Shortland concludes, “To write music, that’s something I really like doing and just really sharing my talents with the world, however that may turn out and just keep doing music no matter what.”