Kapisi's lyrical genesis used to connect with youth drivers

By Moana Makapelu Lee
  • Auckland

Encouraging young drivers to stop for Police when requested is the message in King Kapisi's new song 'Hear Me Now'. Kapisi alongside Auckland Transport and NZ Police are reaching out via the new song in the hope people will heed its message, following a recent concerning trend of fleeing driver incidents.

Kapisi says, “A family member of mine, Sergeant Owen Arapai he basically said bro I need some help and I said cool, well what's the problem? And he said, well there's an issue of youngsters, predominantly male fleeing from police and not stopping when requested to and endangering themselves and also endangering others.”

This is the call of duty that prompted King Kapisi to write 'Hear Me Now.'

“I think as musicians it's always been important for us to spread these messages because we have the reach to be able to get out to the youth.”

He's renowned for his lyrical beats raising issues relevant to Māori and Pacific Island communities. King Kapisi and wife Teremoana Rapley, who directed the music video, says it was a joint effort by the community for the community. 

“One dancer is studying at MIT and he's doing a degree in social services you know so he's roots level, he's doing social services, he's only 19. But he's doing it because he sees that there is a need in the community.”

Kapisi said, “It was awesome to have the New Zealand Police and also Auckland Transport jump on board and support the kaupapa I think for me is that if we're able to get positive messages out to the youth and to the youth of Auckland and Aotearoa, that's what we need to be doing.”

According to a statement released by NZ Police, approximately 16% of fleeing driver incidents involve a crash.

Rapley says, “What we found talking to our brother in law who is actually a police officer who instigated this whole project is that people don't think about the other side when these police officers have to go to families and tell them that their child was killed. Not only the ones that are fleeing from the police but the innocent ones that are caught in the chase.”

The new track is available at usual outlets.