Troy Kingi wins Tūī for deeply personal folk album

By Kelvin McDonald

Troy Kingi (Te Arawa, Ngāpuhi, Te Whānau-a-Apanui) has another music award to add to his growing collection, after he was awarded the 2022 Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa | Best Folk Artist Tūī for his album Black Sea Golden Ladder.

This was the multi-award-winning musician's first dive into folk music as part of his aspirational 10 10 10 series, in which Kingi has challenged himself to produce 10 albums, in 10 different genres, over 10 years.

A collaboration between himself and award-winning singer and producer Delaney Davidson, the album consists of free-form compositions set to ten original poems documenting the life cycle of humankind.

Each song is based on a different stage or phase in life, Kingi told Te Ao in July last year.

"It is the most personal of all my albums – the first one I feel that is truly about me.”

Kingi produced a 53-minute visual representation of the album in collaboration with Hi Mama Productions and several Māori directors as a thought-provoking exploration of life.

“We had an ensemble of seven Māori directors who took each of those different phases and listened to the song and took it in their own perspective of what they thought that phase or that stage of life looked like," Kingi told Te Ao.

Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa is usually presented to the recipient at the Auckland Folk Festival. However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the winner was announced live on Radio New Zealand’s Music 101 on Saturday afternoon.

In March, Kingi revealed plans to release a te reo Māori version of his third album Holy Colony Burning Acres in time for Matariki.

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Troy Kingi to release visual album