Stan Walker has released a new four-track EP Faith Hope Love, in memory of those who lost their lives in the Christchurch terror attacks. It comes just days after he surprised his half-a-million followers with news he will tour Australia, for the first time in four years, this August.
The opening track of 28-year-old Stan Walker's new EP released yesterday is Moemoeā, a te reo Māori version of the Crowded House waiata Don't Dream It's Over, sung as a duet with Seth Haapu (Ngāti Porou, Te Āti Haunui-ā-Pāpārangi).
The two performed a bi-lingual version of the waiata at the Aroha Nui charity concert in Christchurch in April.
Other songs on the EP, include an English language version of the hugely popular te reo Māori waiata Aotearoa, with Ria Hall, Troy Kingi and Maisey Rika. There is also a Walker cover of Kanye West's Ultralight Beam and a fresh song, New Light.
The singer, with whakapapa to Ngāti Ranginui and Tūhoe, told his followers that the songs "all represent hope and love" and are his response to the Christchurch mosque attacks in March.
This EP was created as my response to what happened to our Muslim whanau in Christchurch... I honestly prayed about it & asked God, how do I respond? What can I do rather than what can I say? This was it. With the help of my incredible talented friends we all pulled this together last minute. These are songs of Hope. Some are old, some are re done & also new. But they all represent Hope & Love. Also part of the proceeds made off of this EP will be going to the Muslim families in Christchurch. So know that every time you listen to these songs or buy them, you will be giving back to them. The journey is not over, but we are on our way. Out on all music platforms May 31...
"This EP was created as my response to what happened to our Muslim whānau in Christchurch. I honestly prayed about it & asked God, how do I respond? What can I do rather than what can I say? This was it," he told fans on Instagram.
All the proceeds from the EP will go to the victims' whānau. "So know that every time you listen to these songs or buy them, you will be giving back to them. The journey is not over, but we are on our way," he says.
On Wednesday, Walker, looking happy and well, delighted fans with news he will make a 10-date tour of Australia in August.
It's been four years since the Melbourne-born singer last toured the country where he rose to fame, a decade ago, as the winner of Australian Idol.
"Been a long time coming, but I’m finally coming back home to tour Australia in August," he told fans.
It will be a whirlwind 14-day tour, starting on the Sunshine Coast on 7 August, stretching up to Darwin, across to Perth, down to Melbourne and finishing back in Sydney on 21 August.
Walker toured Aotearoa at the end of last year, his first tour since successful stomach surgery in 2017 for cancer caused by a rare gene that he says has affected about 80% of his whānau. In 2016, he cancelled a planned tour of New Zealand to support his mother overcome cancer.