New music EP laments housing crisis

By D'Angelo Martin

Balancing a full-time job with working on something you are passionate about can be difficult, but Mitimiti folk-songwriter Ed Waaka feels otherwise. 

Waaka was in the studio today and gave us a preview of one of his latest songs from his up and coming EP 'The War on the Streets' about the rising cost of housing in Auckland.

What started out as a hobby turned into a passion for Waaka, who began learning about music at MAINZ as a 20-year-old. He then worked on crafting his own material, which led him to write and produce his own songs. 

'The War in the Streets' talks about the place where Waka grew up and his childhood home that's gone now due to the effects of the housing crisis.

"I spent a couple of years of my life in Hillary Cresent and then moved further down the road, kind of grew up in that area. Returning to my old neighbourhood and seeing the contrast of new development progress, it's humbling to know that I came from a place like that. But it's just one of the things that we face now."

Waaka's music is heartfelt and carries messages he considers important.

"A lot of the music I write is about universal messages, empathy and love all of that kind of stuff that I think is important."

Waaka says he's struggled growing up in an urban environment and that music has provided an escape for him.

"It wasn't until I started going to mainstream primary and mainstream colleges and intermediate where I kind of felt this conflict of identity. In urban areas, you kind of feel disconnected, but I think for me I struggled with that a lot growing up and I still do now. But you're either not Māori enough or you're too Māori".

The visuals for 'The War on the Streets' will premiere next week and his EP will be released later this year.