After 2 Years in the Making, Rei Presents His New Album ARIKI

November 23rd 2022
ARIKI is the evolution from Reis first te reo EP called Rangatira. Rangatira means ‘being a Chief’. ARIKI is a high Chief, or paramount Chief. The concept of rangatiratanga and self empowerment runs throughout this album and ARIKI is the evolution of this kaupapa. ARIKI is also written as a self-help playlist on how to be a Chief in today’s society. ARIKI is 14 waiata of pop, rap, reggae, drill, Hip Hop & RnB, all in te reo Māori.


Stream ARIKI here / Kupu/Lyrics and translations here


After 2 years in the making, Rei presents his new album ARIKI, made with tautoko from Te Māngai Pāho and NZ on Air. His 6th studio album in 7 years, Rei is cementing his place as one of the most prolific and forward-thinking te reo artists in Aotearoa. After travelling to Europe twice this year showcasing his future Māori music, Rei is looking forward to touring Aotearoa on his ARIKI tour this summer.


 I've also never done a concept album like this before. The album has 6 interludes which all run seamlessly from one track to the next. Conceptually and technically, this was a new challenge for me. The end result is that the album flows really nicely, it sounds like one cohesive project rather than just a bunch of songs. In the interludes (voiced by Turia Schmidt-Peke), I explore different ways that we can each bring out the ‘inner chief’ within all of us. 

ARIKI is my biggest most ambitious te reo project yet. 14 tracks and 6 interludes was a pretty big task! Only 2 of the waiata are te reo versions of my english songs, all the rest are fresh original reo jams. I collaborated more on this album too, writing songs with Drax Project (Wera Matao), Tom Lee from Lee Mvthews (Te Whakapono), Olivia Foa'i (Kokomea), Huia (Te Whakapono, Swizl Jager (Karekau) and Cee Blu (Whāia te Rā). I worked closely with Lois McIver, who helps with my te reo. She's great at helping me keep to my cheeky and out there reo bars, but also keeping the reo tika at the same time.

I really wanted to get this album out this year. However, with a big overseas trip to Lisbon and London planned, we needed to finish the album before I left. After a bad bout of flu, and a studio team recovering from covid, our album deadline started looming. Chris Chetland and I had about 2 weeks to mix and master at Kog Studio before I hopped on a plane. This might seem like a lot of time for some artists, but we sometimes spend 3 days mixing one song! We went hard and had a lot of late nights. There were times when I wanted to give up and postpone the album release till next year, but Chris was confident we could get it done…and we did!”

Rei is a multi-award-winning artist, singer, rapper and music producer from Aotearoa/NZ.

For more info, EPK and live shows go to:


ARIKI : 24th Nov - VIP experience at Stardome 

Grab your tickets for - 26th Nov - Release Party - Ponsonby Social Club

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