Te Reo Māori dominates NZ music charts

By Will Trafford

The creator of the 2021 Waiata Anthems playlist Dame Hinewehi Mohi is describing the motu's uptake of Te Reo Māori in waiata as "phenomenal".

Sixteen of the 20 songs currently on the NZ Singles Chart (Waiata Takitahi, Wera Rawa 20 o Aotearoa) are bilingual tracks.

“Hearing our language and our waiata being played on the radio, on television, from people’s cars – it’s a truly wonderful feeling,”  Mohi says.

SIX60’s Pepeha is dominating at No. 1 on the singles chart, with the song that uses all three of Aotearoa's official languages (Māori, English and Sign Language) also gaining traction on TikTok.

Another TikTok success story is East Coast rangatahi group Ka Hao with their waiata 35, featuring Rob Ruha.

When it comes to the Albums chart (Te Rārangi Kōpaki Motuhake 20 o Aotearoa), the Waiata Anthems album and Lorde’s Te Ao Mārama take out Nos. 4 and 3.

Kono, featuring waiata from Anna Coddington and Louis Baker, Ria Hall, Katchafire, The Nudge and Troy Kingi is 16 on the Top 20 Albums Chart.

Mohi says she hopes the trend will endure far beyond Māori language week.

“Hopefully, this has inspired artists and audiences alike, to be brave with their waiata and to celebrate our nation’s heritage language all year round.”

Links to the waiata anthems on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Amazon Music, and Tidal can be found on the WaiataAnthems website.

2021 Waiata Anthems
 

SIX60 - ‘Pepeha’

Stan Walker - ‘Tau Te Mārire / Take It Easy’

Hamo Dell - ‘Ora Ai / Feeling Right’

Paige - ‘Taiāniwha / Waves’

Niko Walters - ‘Aroha Kaitangata / Vicious Love’

Mikey Dam - ‘Māu / Would You’

Anna Coddington ft. Louis Baker - ‘Aho / Beams’

Muroki - ‘Rehurehu / Wavy’

Reuben Fleetwood - ‘Haere Rā / So Do You’’

Sons of Zion - ‘He Aroha Hinemoa / Love on the Run’

Hollie Smith feat. NZSO - ‘Ko Te Hīnātoretanga / Coming in from the Dark’

Troy Kingi - ‘Te Wai Nō Rua Whetū / Aztechknowledgey’

Ria Hall - ‘Rangatira / Owner’

Tomorrow People - ‘Rise Up’

Valkyrie - ‘A Hakamana’

Rei - 'Hoki Mai / Come Back To Me’

Huia - 'Marama La Luna / Moon Moon’

Ka Hao ft. Rob Ruha - ‘35’

Louis Baker - ‘Te Utu o Te Aroha’

Georgia Lines - ‘Tōrere / My Love’

Tama Waipara ft. Maisey Rika - ‘Tiaho Iho Rā / East Coast Moon’

William Waiirua - ‘Mauri Mahi, Mauri Ora / Do The Mahi, Get The Treats’

Diaz Grimm - ‘Te Kore’

Goldsmith Baynes - ‘Tīpuna’

Ainslie Allen - ‘Te Ua Ka Mao’

IA - ‘Whetū’

Kings ft. Theia - ‘Pohewatia’