Some of New Zealand’s best songwriters have been shortlisted for the prestigious Maioha Award at this year’s APRA Silver Scrolls.
The Maioha Award will be presented as part of the Silver Scroll songwriting awards at Auckland’s Spark Arena on Wednesday, October 2.
The award recognises the art of contemporary Māori songwriting and honours composers who are telling their stories in the language of Te Ao Māori.
Past winners include Ria Hall, Alien Weaponry and Rob Ruha.
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2019 Maioha finalists:
- Angelique Te Rauna ‘Ka Ao’, written by Tyna Keelan, Angelique Te Rauna and Matauranga Te Rauna
- Kaaterama ‘Paiheretia’, written by Kaaterama Pou
- Aro ‘Korimako’, written by Emily and Charles Looker
- Mara TK ‘Te Kete Aronui’, written by Mara Te Kahika and Cory Champion
There were more entries than ever before for this year, and the judges found it hard to choose just three finalists, so this year there are four.
All are first-time finalists aside from Tyna Keelan (Ngati Porou, Ngati Rongomaiwahine, and Ngati Kahu) who won in 2011 for his song ‘Ko Koe’.
Angelique Te Rauna - ‘Ka Ao’
Newcomer Angelique (Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Porou and Tūhoe) teamed up with Tyna and her uncle Matauranga and Tyna Keelan to write ‘Ka Ao’, which is a beautiful piano ballad about finding self-confidence and following dreams.
Aro - ‘Korimako’
Also newcomers, Emily and Charles Looker, who perform as Aro, are recognised for their song ‘Korimako’. The song blends Emily's smooth voice and Charles' full throated percussive vocals with shades of haka. ‘Korimako’ is a warm, upbeat waiata from their debut album Manu – a bilingual album released on Waitangi Day which is inspired by Aotearoa's native birds.
Kaaterama - ‘Paiheretia’
Kaaterama Pou’s song ‘Paiheretia’ was inspired by gospel music. The track is from her debut EP Shine Your Light. Having impressed judges at the Waiata Maori Music Awards, winning the Best Emerging Artist prize in 2017, Kaaterama (Ngāpuhi, Te Arawa) is now garnering attention by addressing indigenous and environmental issues through her music.
Mara TK - ‘Te Kete Aronui’
The son of Māori psychedelic rock legend Billy TK, Mara (Ngai Tahu, Ngati Kahungunu, and Tainui) is a finalist for his brand new work ‘Te Kete Aronui’, alongside drummer Cory Champion. It’s a soulful ballad infused with modern beats and strings, about the search for faith and wisdom.