Inspiring Journeys Through Music: Hōtaka Māori | Insights from Waiata-Makers

  • Inspiring Journeys Through Music: Hōtaka Māori | Insights from Waiata-Makers
Inspiring Journeys Through Music: Hōtaka Māori | Insights from Waiata-Makers

Inspiring Journeys Through Music: Hōtaka Māori | Insights from Waiata-Makers

Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua: I walk backwards into the future with my eyes fixed on my past.

What does it take to be a Māori composer and/or a musician in 2024? If you grew up immersed in your Māoritanga, or if still on a journey of reclamation and discovery – where does melody, rhythm and lyrics come to represent this self-expression. Then facing a music industry filled with persistent challenges – what is needed to overcome, to rise and deliver performances of your own waiata.

Inspiring Journeys Through Music, with host Alana Broughton, delivers this fascinating kōrero with wha four successful Māori artists from across the spectrum of music: Mere Tokorahi Boynton, Rei, Ria Hall and Pere Wihongi. These conversations explore their lives and livelihoods, achievements and struggles, and offer insight on identity, resilience and seeking inspiration.


Mere Tokorahi Boynton
(Te Aitanga a Māhaki, Ngāti Oneone, Ngāi Tūhoe): with a multitude of rich experiences under her belt, Mere embraces creative moments that express her truth – an accomplished opera singer, film and theatre actor, and dedicated advocate for the arts – Mere nurtures both stories of her past, as well as hopes for future generations

Rei (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Huia): honest and forthright, Rei is leading the way as a bi-lingual lyricist – winner of six Waiata Music Awards, Rei keeps closely connected to his fans and community – creating stylish beats to invigorate, and provoke on occasion, he strongly believes in the power to uplift and empower through music

Ria Hall (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Te Whānau ā Apanui, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Waikato): indisputably a wahine toa, well-known from kapa haka to DIY Marae to M9, Ria is currently making a bid for the Tauranga mayoralty – yet, highly regarded for her powerful vocals, as viewed by millions with the opening of 2011 Rugby World Cup – her own music presents stories of her tūpuna, some uncomfortable, but with the hope of forging new pathways for her people

Pere Wihongi (Te Rarawa, Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Kuri, Ngāti Wai): an advocate for authentic representation, Pere is well-loved for her effervescent personality and outstanding talents, seen right across Māori broadcasting, film and music. Exuberant yet grounded, and undeniably proud of her culture, with kapa haka rōpū Angitū, pop band Maimoa, to her own solo career – being kaupapa-driven is what inspires Pere to strive both creatively and professionally.

In addition to each of these kōrero, an inspirational waiata is performed by the featured artist.

Toni Huata, SOUNZ Director of Māori Music says, “I love that these amazing artists have a kaupapa behind everything that they do, not just in music but in their life journeys. They’re authentic, driven, brave and loving. I admire how they navigate their careers, as our voyaging tīpuna have throughout Moana nui ā Kiwa, and by doing this, they also contribute to an active music industry here in Aotearoa.”

SOUNZ Interim Chief Executive, Claire Szabó, says, “We are so proud to be able to present Inspiring Journeys through Music, recognising that the wisdom and expertise of these artists can be passed onto others. Producing this series as part of Hōtaka Māori will bring many benefits, particularly for those already participating in or thinking to enter the arts, and again we acknowledge the valuable backing of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Manatū Taonga, who proudly champions this kaupapa.”

To share and experience Inspiring Journeys through Music, please head to:

Hōtaka Māori is supported by Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage through the Cultural Regeneration Fund.

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