Maiava: using music to help rangatahi battling depression

By D'Angelo Martin

Hailing from Northland, up-and-coming musician Mahaani Maiava wants to use his music as a beacon for rangatahi Māori who are dealing with depression and suicide in Kaikohe and beyond. 

Maiava (Maiavahe) is hoping that his lyrics reach out to those in need of guidance and direction.

"The biggest raru [I've] been affected by is suicide and I think for my music, the true soul, the true spirit, the true wairua for my songs is telling rangatahi that you can do something, you can get somewhere."

He hopes his lyrics will create a safe place for those seeking support and make them realise that they're not alone, that there is hope.

"Not even addressing suicide right at the head...you can always encourage them safely without triggering."

Maiava knows that the world is changing but is confident that Maōri are adapting to those changes.  He believes that Māori youth are talented in many ways. 

"Not many people understand how far into the future we can actually get to.  If you look at te ao Māori right now we've grown a lot, we're engaging, we're transforming, we're the Avengers!  We're going to the end."

Maiava has always had a passion for music and wants to further his knowledge.  He is currently studying at MAINZ towards a bachelor of music.

"Me being here, it's pretty much just the journey through what I already know with music but, deep down, it's to learn what I can and take it back to Ngāpuhi to feed it to the rangatahi."

He is looking forward to returning home to Kaikohe to inspire the youth in the Far North. 

"I'd like to [use] my music...to build something like a performing arts centre, or a space where rangatahi cam come in and be anything, whether that be a dancer, a performer, a singer, whatever."