Rei builds bridges for Māori music with third album

By Regan Paranihi

A Māori singer and songwriter known as Rei, from Ngāti Raukawa has released his third album.

The fourteen track collection reinforces the artist's self-empowering motto of "being a chief of your own life."

According to the singer, it's his most intimate album to date.

"I write from personal experiences or from experiences of people close around me.  I've got to believe that my unique perspective on life and everything is going to add something to the culture, to music and to other peoples lives."

The title The Bridge represents his pathway to many worlds, "It's about not having to choose sides all the time, just being happy being in between things and same with genres, in my music I bridge all these things as well."

Many established artists feature on this third album which Rei says is an experience he thoroughly enjoys.

"It can get a bit mokemoke if you're just by yourself in the studio all the time and so it's good to get out and jam with other people and you're always going to create something different.

"With the music career, with anything, with life in general there's always ups and downs because once you write one big song there is heaps of pressure to follow it up with another big song."

Despite those pressures he always has time to assist upcoming Māori artists.

"Working with other Māori artists and realising their musical vision, it's definitely a blessing that I do know how to produce songs so I can make beats and stuff so I can help guide them through."

The Bridge by Rei is available now.