13 Dec 2021

Award-winning album inspired by 'reconnecting with my culture', Tree says

1:32 pm on 13 December 2021

Double Pacific Music Awards winner 'Tree' says making the winning album Mrs Tree allowed her to reconnect with her Samoan culture.

The artist Tree Manu performing the song Afio Ane Loa which was judged the best music video at the Pacific Music Awards in 2021.

Tree performing Afio Ane Loa which was judged the best music video at the Pacific Music Awards in 2021. Photo: Screenshot

Tree Manu, better known by her artist name Tree, walked away as winner of the Best Music Album with her self-produced debut album Mrs Tree.

The song Afio Ane Loa was judged the best music video - an honour, given it is her most personal work.

Tree told Morning Report the award winning video for Afio Ane Loa was shot when it was cold and rainy.

"There was about three months pre-production, research, tapping into ourselves in a deeper level and reaching for the deeper inspiration in our ancestors and our heroes. Also like being able to find beauty in the land here, in New Zealand and Aotearoa."

Tree said the album took 10 years to make and it was definitely a journey involving self development, life experiences and growth, faith and family.

"Music and reconnecting with my culture, reclaiming myself and my identity."

Tree said she is a first generation New Zealander but her parents were born and raised in Samoa coming to New Zealand to provide a better life for their family.

"So my sister and I were born here but as you can imagine we didn't really grow up with Samoan customs or around the culture as much."

She said although they speak Samoan, English was still their first language at home.

"Turning 30 I just found it really important to find who I am and where I come from and learn more about my roots and reconnect back with my culture.

"It was also a part of the journey of creating my album and finding who I am, getting to know myself on a deeper level."

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