RNZ Music is delighted to share the first release from Te Kaahu O Rangi, the new project from Christchurch musician Theia in celebration of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.
Te Kaahu O Rangi (affectionately shortened to TE KAAHU/The Hawk) is the new project from Christchurch-born singer and songwriter Em Walker (Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Tipa), who is also known as Theia. The new project honours the craft and skill of traditional Māori songwriting and storytelling through music.
Te Kaahu aims to match modern instrumentation and lyricism that nods to the language of Em’s ancestors. She does this through the use of kupu whakarite (metaphor), pepeha (tribal sayings) and whakataukī (proverbs).
The project’s first waiata ‘E Taku Huia Kaimanawa’ is an ode to Em’s grandmother Rangirara, who passed away suddenly four years ago. The song was produced by Sydney based William Bradshaw AKA Oh Boy, an up and coming pop producer and friend of Em’s.
The full name of the project Te Kaahu O Rangi is also a nod to Em’s beloved kuia (grandmother).
“This project is first and foremost for Māori but I do believe that the sentiment in these waiata will resonate beyond our community,” says Em.