Māoridom recognises its talented musicians

By Taroi Black

Pere Wihōngi reaches new heights in music after been nominated for Best Māori Male Solo Artist and nominated for four other awards with his group Te Kākano and Maimoa at the 2019 Waiata Māori Music Awards held in Heretaunga.

Pere, 25, began to build his solo musical portfolio. He is a lead singer in Maimoa and Te Kākano that also features three other singers who have played a big part in his journey to become a solo artist.

“The excitement to create my own music and passion to arrange my own songs has been rewarding".

In June, Pere released his music video "High on Ingoingo" which he wrote for anyone "who needs a reminder on their journey to bringing their hearts true desires to life".

“I went to Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Mangere and there I recognised my own strength and talent in Te Reo Māori. Been among the kuia and koroua of that school gave me huge admiration and ambition to pursue the mahi I do today".

Pere Wihongi / Facebook

Te Kākano is nominated in Best Māori Traditional Album, Best Māori Pop Artist or Artists Award and Best Song by a Māori Artist Award. While Maimoa is also nominated this year for their song Kawea in the Radio Airplay Song of the Year by a Māori Artist in Te Reo Māori Award. The song itself features all female artists from the Maimoa group and Pere and tells a story about empowerment and perseverance.

Maimoa Music / Facebook 

Kora brothers-founded group L.A.B. and Waiwhetū Wellington band Grove Roots both share four nominations at tonight’s awards.  

L.A.B. broke into the music industry and released their music video ‘Baby Will You Let Me’ which is in the running’s for Best Video of the Year by a Māori Artist and Best Māori Pop Album – L.A.B. II.

Waiwhetu Wellington band Grove Roots is nominated for Best Traditional Album Te Reo Māori and Best Māori Urban Roots Album. The band is located in Lower Hutt and belongs to a rich history of tikanga and kawa at their local marae, Waiwhetu.

Te Marama Pūoru Waiata Māori - Māori Music Month - is also recognising other artists who are also part of the star-studded line up in contention for awards tonight. Plus, celebrating those who have made their mark in the world by inspiring Māori in music. The event will also present the Waiata Maori Music Awards Iconic recipients to Trevor Horowaewae Maxwell, Abe Phillips, Pixie Williams and Jarrod Huirama for the commitment and service to music and culture.

The Awards were established by composer, musician and teacher Tama Huata ONZM (Ngati Kahungunu), a renowned leader and champion of Māori music and performing arts. Tama’s daughter Ellison Huata now serves as executive director. She says, “The Waiata Māori Music Awards encourage, honour and celebrate the achievements of outstanding traditional and contemporary musical composition by Māori artists".

Waiata Māori Music Awards FINALISTS 2019

Best Māori Female Solo Artist

  1. Amba Holly 
  2. Theia 
  3. La Coco 
  4. JaLeace

Best Māori Male Solo Artist

  1. Tipene
  2. Israel Starr
  3. PERE

Best Traditional Album Te Reo Māori

  1. Te Kākano - Te Kākano
  2. Grove Roots - Waka
  3. Maaka Fiso - Ngaro

Best Māori Pop Album

  1.  L.A.B. – L.A.B. II
  2. Te Kākano - Te Kākano
  3. Tipene - Tautoko

Best Māori Urban Rap/Hiphop/RnB Album

  1. Tipene - Tautoko
  2. Grove Roots - Waka
  3. Rugged and Wylde - The King and the Chief

Best Māori Urban Roots Album

  1. Grove Roots - Waka
  2. NLC - Know Your Roots

Best Song by a Māori Artist

  1. Katchafire - Fyah In The Trenches
  2. Te Kākano - Tōrea
  3. L.A.B. – Rocket Ship
  4. RunTingz Family - Runtingz Anthem

Best Māori songwriter

  1. Katchafire
  2. L.A.B.
  3. Te Kākano 
  4. Amba Holly 

Best Music Video by a Māori Artist

  1. Grove Roots - Aotearoa
  2. L.A.B. - Baby Will You Let Me
  3. Tipene - Nanny's House
  4. La Coco -  Back When Theia – Candy