Topic: NZ Music

Māori Youth in Pao Pao Pao Release First Album

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Talented young musicians of music mentoring programme Pao Pao Pao performed live to launch their debut compilation album. This is the first time the Pao Pao Pao music mentoring programme has recorded and released an album.

Tagivale Schmidt-Peke is just 15 years old, a singer for new group Maimoa Music, as well as her own group called Taniwha. Now she has joined the group of artists emerging through Pao Pao Pao.

She says, "We are releasing our first album for Pao Pao Pao. There are a number of great songs, that were all done by us, by youth, Māori youth."

Pao Pao Pao aims to develop emerging Māori musicians and establish pathways for Māori who wish to embark on a career in the music industry.

Makaira Berry is a graduate of the Pao Pao Pao program, she says, "I've been pursuing this path for a long time and the Pao Pao Pao mentoring program has really helped me advance further on this journey."

According to Makaira Berry, the benefits of the program are numerous and exceed musicianship.

She maintains that "Singing is just one small aspect of this program, you also learn humility, to respect musicians and all people of the world. So it's not just about music, it's Māori. It's a very Māori initiative."

In regard to his song at Pao Pao Pao, upcoming artist Te Karehana Gardiner-Toi says, "It speaks about the river and the water, in my opinion within us as Māori, water is something that cleanses the person."

Gardiner-Toi has received funding from NZ on Air and next month he will be releasing his own EP.