27 Aug 2021

First Song: Theia, Rangirara

From Afternoons, 1:15 pm on 27 August 2021

Artist Theia has released her latest waiata from her TE KAAHU project.

She shares Rangirara with Jesse Mulligan and talks about how the track is close to her heart, taking its name from her late grandmother.


Theia Photo: supplied

Theia says she started TE KAAHU during the last lockdown, and kaahu means hawk.

“It’s named as such because since my kuia, my nanny, passed away, I’ve just never seen so many kaahu in my life so I kind of treated them as I guess my personal kaitiaki, my guardians.

“I wanted to be put all of my titonga Māori, all my Māori compositions, in one place so I didn’t have to bombard my nannies and my sweet aunties who just wanted to listen to calm music.”

The song Rangirara is also her grandmother's name. She says rangi means heavens and rara, in this instance, meaning beyond.

“So really her [grandmother’s] name means beyond the heavens and so this waiata pretty much just talks about the assets of her name and joins them with some of our traditional whakaaro, thoughts, on the sky and all the elements like, Rangipōpō-i-runga, which is like the female personification in our traditions of thunder."

In another to nod to her kuia, the music video was filmed at Te Kohanga Community Hall, where they used to hold dances and kapa haka.

“It’s a very soulful and thoughtful sounding song of yesteryear. It’s kind of old-school and I wanted it to be like a waltz that kuia would’ve probably danced to in the halls when she was young.”