RNZ Music is proud to premiere the video for 'He Iti', from one of Aotearoa's brightest young Māori singers, Kaaterama. 'He Iti' is the first single from Kaaterama's debut EP Shine Your Light, which is sung entirely in te reo Māori.
As well as her new solo music, Kaaterama is part of Māori pop group, Maimoa Music, which has had more than 5 million views on their video ‘Wairua’ feat. Willie Wairua. With Maimoa Music, Kaaterama also collaborated with Dave Dobbyn on the te reo version of his hit ‘Welcome Home’.
‘He Iti’ was shot in Taiwan, where Kaaterama visited with some Maimoa bandmates earlier this year, to meet with the country's indigenous tribes.
It’s thought that Māori and indigenous Taiwanese have common ancestors, which was obvious to Kaaterama, whose first language is te reo Māori.
“I could kind of understand what they were saying. And the way they present themselves, like they’re very respectful, they’re really good at manaakitangata [hospitality], and the way they sing and do dances is really amazing. It’s similar to Māori culture with kapa haka, they have rākau, taiaha, patu.”
Although has an environmental message that encourages young people around the world to take care of our forests, sea and rivers.
Kaaterama has featured in the Māori TV series Voices of the Future and this year, was a mentor for young artists in the kids' series Pūkana's Uruwhetu project - a Māori music youth development programme.
As a product of the Kohanga Reo and Kura Kaupapa Māori movements in New Zealand, Kaaterama sings in te reo: “The importance of te reo in my music is not only to promote, but to encourage all Māori and non-Māori to embrace and learn our amazing language and tikanga.”
Kaaterama's EP, Shine Your Light, is a blend of pop and R’n’B, with a Kiwi-influenced flavour of gospel. It's intended as an uplifting and spiritual collection of songs.
Kaaterama recorded the EP at Neil Finn’s famed Roundhead Studios in Auckland. It features the Te Reanga Morehu Choir and Jaedyn Randell, the young singer from Tokoroa, who was cast as the voice behind Disney's Moana in te reo.