Shepherds Reign collaborates with Swizl Jager for new reo Māori waiata

By Te Ao - Māori News

Māori Language Week is celebrated in many ways such as practising speaking te reo in daily life, writing and in song - but not all songs have that traditional Māori sound.

To celebrate Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori, Polynesian metal band Shepherds Reign has formed a special collaboration with Māori rapper and metal singer Swizl Jager.

Shepherds Reign is a Polynesian metal band with two Samoans, two Māori and a Chinese Thai native from South Auckland who were influenced by progressive US metal bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Gojira and Dream.

Shepherds Reign fuses its progressive metal sounds with metal guitar riffs and double-kicking bass drums, along with Samoan lyrics and traditional cultural instruments like the wooden log drum.

Swizl Jager is an underground New Zealand rapper who started his journey into music in the metal scene, later diving into the rap scene. Swizl Jager started to put out more Te Reo-based lyrics out of his love for the language and because he thought it wasn’t fairly represented in New Zealand music.

Swizl Jager and Filiva'a James' newest song Ngā Ao E Rua is about the cultural collision of Te Reo and Samoan and the music genres of rap and metal uniting to celebrate these forms of vital culture.

The music video was directed by 'The Raro Dog' Robert George, and can be found in the video below from Shepherds Reign's YouTube channel.