TMP award finalist says 'It's a privilege to be Māori'

By Regan Paranihi

Louis Baker (Ngāpuhi) is a finalist in two categories for this year's New Zealand Vodafone Music Awards.

Baker has been infused in the music realm since the age of twelve and now at the age of 29, his hard work and dedication to his passion is coming to fruition. 

This Ngāpuhi descendant says the Te Māngai Pāhō award is an honourary acknowledgement.

"It's actually a privilege to be Māori and a privilege to be nominated for the Māori award."

It's one he didn't see coming but worked hard for it.

"You gotta be in to win and I just thought let's try that this year, the first year that I've put out an album and I think that warrants giving it a go."

Despite being up against renown Māori artists such as Troy Kingi and Rei, Baker says they are all whānau at the end of the day.

"Its a really good feeling because I actually know Troy, Rei from way back so its a real pleasure. I know Bailey as well so we're all whānau anyway and whatever happens, it's like we're all stoked for each other."

While music is his passion he also wants to dive deeply into his Māori heritage and language.

"I'm pretty keen to get my reo on point and just keep learning I'm trying to learn a bit every day."

He also adds, "it's a special journey and its just kind of eventuating in a nice organic way."

Baker says his focus now his next steps in the music industry.

"Just being here in the studio making some music hopefully getting one of those number one bangers, Just enjoying music and back into creativity mode."

Baker is looking forward to his future of creating new music.

The New Zealand Vodafone Music Awards will take place at Auckland's Spark Arena on the 14 November.