Ngāpuhi singer eager to learn about his whakapapa

By Jessica Tyson

Despite travelling all over the world with his music, Ngāpuhi singer Louis Baker has always wanted to learn more about where he's from.

He's just released his new album OPEN, about opening up to new journeys and opportunities.  He says learning more about his whakapapa is a new journey he wants to take.

“I'm on a journey at the moment to understand more about my whakapapa.  I know that my grandfather, Frederick Baker, [a] lieutenant colonel, was one of the commanding officers of the 28th Māori Battalion, he identified with Ngāpuhi,” says Baker.

“Māori are an amazing people and I always think of the proverb, 'the people, the people, the people' and that says a lot about Māori.”

The singer grew up in Newtown, Wellington and has travelled the world with his music.

"It’s taken me everywhere. I've gone through the US, Europe, New Zealand, Wellington, Australia."

His new album has made number one on Apple Music's NZ album chart.  

 

One of his new songs is named The People.  The video clip showcases the diversity that exists in the capital city.

“It has my old man who was a firefighter who worked in the Brooklyn station for 43 years," says Baker.

Baker says he's looking into writing songs in te reo.

“Te reo is something that I've been looking at getting into.  I started a wānanga course online last year," he says.

“In terms of hapū and iwi and marae, I would like to connect more with that side, so if anyone wants to hook me up with some kind of contact that'd be cool.”

Baker will tour his new album in Australia and Europe and has already started writing new music for another.