16 Dec 2023

Playing Favourites with Anika Moa

From Saturday Morning, 10:05 am on 16 December 2023
Anika Moa

Anika Moa's new interview series, It's Personal, will air on RNZ early next year. Photo: nicky claridge

Anika Moa says she's ready to fight to reclaim her culture as much as possible, but that there are also real benefits in dealing with traumatic events with humour.

The multitalented wāhine joined Susie Ferguson on Saturday Morning for this year's final Playing Favourites.

An ubiquitous part of the music scene for decades, more recently Moa's turned her hand to TV and radio presenting including TVNZ show Anika Moa ​Unleashed.

With a trademark interview style that combines cheek and earthy charm, she's managed to reveal a whole new side to guests such as Sir Ashley Bloomfield.

Moa's favourite song choices for Playing Favourites, such as Kora's 'Politician', reflect her thoughts of the moment.

"I don't believe in this government," she says of the new National-led coalition.

"I am Māori and I whakapapa back to Ngāpuhi and I am feeling a little bit pissed off really... I want to help fight to reclaim our reo, our language, our heritage, our culture as much as I can."

Moa says she often deals with traumatic events with humour.

It's a big part of her personality.

"There's always a funny side to something. It can morbid but then it can be funny for me because that's how I channel my trauma or pain."

"I've always been like that."

She says when she first stepped into the music scene's spotlight, her record company "were like, don't be funny," in her music videos.

"I was doing these video clips that were so serious and all I wanted to do was take the piss out of myself."

Moa says there are a lot of sides to being a human.

"I love being funny, I love entertaining people and I love telling rude jokes."

Moa told Saturday Morning she's at the "end of year haul."

"`You just have to wake up and do it. Get the presents, get the kids to school, get them to prize-givings and Christmas parties and buy things and make things. So generally speaking, I'm absolutely exhausted."

Moa says she does a lot but this year she's slowed down, due to a diagnosis of type-1 diabetes and dealing with the depression that followed.

"A lot of people talk about 'they went through depression and now they're out the other side.' I'm deep in the heart of it. I am on anti-depressants, ADHD medication and I'm trailing a few different things."

Moa says it's "not nice," but she has "glimmers of beautiful moments."

Like with her kids, doing her new upcoming RNZ podcast, walking her dogs. Even buying a lawnmower.

"I'm like to my ex-partner, 'I can come over and help you mow the lawns'.

"It's the simple joys in life."

Her interview series for RNZ called 'It's Personal' is due to air early next year.

The songs Anika Moa played:

Politician by Kora

Evergreen by Yebba

All your ships have sailed by Troy Kingi

Back to Black by Amy Winehouse

Mariella by Leon Bridges and Khruangbin