A new Māori language single has been released by rising star Sianne Dougherty. A tribute to her daughter, she says the song 'Azaelea' is about parenting and treasuring children within a Māori worldview.
"He aroha mutunga kore is an everlasting love that I have for her," she says.
Azaelea is a love song from mother to daughter.
"I hope she listens to it and, actually we were listening to it in the car before and she got some of the words and I had a teary eye moment about it, it was so cute. I just hope she understands that's the way I'll always feel about her,” says Sianne.
Dougherty grew up with Te Reo Māori as her first language and she believes in it as a foundation for nurturing her child.
She says, “[Te Reo] Māori is a treasure passed down by our ancestors. I'm Māori, so I must write a song in Māori first and foremost.”
When her daughter Azaelea was 8 months, Dougherty says she had a moment of clarity and overwhelming love and turned it into a song.
“Azaelea was crying and I got up and went and tended to her needs in the early hours of the morning and I realised that's the essence of my love for her and how much she means to me and what being a parent and being responsible really was.”
She has words of encouragement for all Māori parents.
“Just don't let the life struggles of here and now stress us out, just love our babies, and show it.”
She hopes her daughter will follow in her footsteps and pursue what she wants to do in life.
"How can I tell her to follow her dreams if I'm not following mine, so that's why I'm here right now," she says.
Dougherty will be releasing another new track in a months’ time.