The highly-anticipated soundtrack to the hit movie Moana was recently released on Spotify. An initiative by Matewa Media, the music was composed by Rob Ruha. Musician Tawaroa Kawana, who features on the album, spoke about his musical journey to date and this latest achievement.
Tawaroa Kawana is normalising the Māori language through music. "When I was a kid, Lion King was the best movie. These days, it's Moana, the Māori language version."
Popular notoriety with his group Maimoa, however, Tawaroa is also blazing his own path.
"I'm working with Maimoa and other groups as well. However, my main goal is to pursue a solo career."
The Māori Language version of the Moana soundtrack has just been released and features a song by Tawaroa Kawana rendition of one of the main theme songs, 'You're Welcome'.
"I was approached by Rob Ruha and Tweedie Waititi. What a great experience that was, to work with Rob, Maisey and Tweedie, it was awesome."
He hopes the songs reverberate throughout the country in full immersion pre-school centres and in full immersion schools.
"The main aspiration is for these songs to go out to the world, to be sung by children, to normalise our Māori language in our own country."
While families still wait to see Moana in the Māori language, Tawaroa Kawana says the music may help fill the void in the meantime.
You can find the new soundtrack here on Spotify.