Spotlight tonight on Māori musicians in NZ music month

By Arohanui West

By Arohanui West, Te Rito Journalism Cadet

Ten singers from across Aotearoa have gathered in Tāmaki for a private concert which will be broadcasted live at 7 pm tonight on the Waiata anthems YouTube channel.

The line-up includes  Kings, Mohi Allen, Rei, Anna Coddington, Louis Baker, Hāni Dread, Chad Chambers, Georgia Lines, Hina and Huia.

The event is called Waiata reo māori live and it celebrates Māori music and artists. The event couldn't come at a more fitting time, halfway through the New Zealand music month of May.

Rapper, producer, singer and songwriter Rei said: “I’m excited to be here, to be catching up with some of my friends. It’s so cool when we get a bunch of Māori artists in one whare together.” 

Following the establishment of Waiata Anthems in 2020, an industry-wide initiative to highlight waiata reo Māori, the music industry has seen a huge influx of bilingual music releases making a mark nationwide and sparking interest overseas. 

East Coast rangatahi group Ka Hao and bilingual recording artist Rob Ruha made waves on TikTok with their single 35 exploding on the platform’s trending chart. The waiata also reached No. 1 on the Hot 20 singles chart.

Bilingual singer and songwriter Mohi Allen says in order for waiata māori to thrive, Māoridom needs to start “pushing our rangatahi to jump into this space, start putting forward their waiata reo māori”.

Live stream link: