Māori Broadcasting Agency Te Māngai Pāho (TMP) is now funding more Māori tracks and music videos as opposed to funding albums. Some Māori artists have welcomed the move but the challenge to attract bigger audience’s remains.
Māori music is a key component in Māori language promotion.
With the current online climate making content available anywhere and anytime, TMP currently fund 90 music tracks each year and they are hoping to fund more Māori music videos.
TMP CEO John Bishara says, “In the next music round I hope to be able to fund approximately 50 music videos and that is us responding to again convergence in the technology world, so that our waiata Māori is actually available on a number of mediums not just on radio.”
“It's a changing world and I refer to that saying we must keep up with the times because in this ever changing world there's a lot of benefits from technology. So we must not stay locked in the past,” says Māori artist Tupoutama Paki.
In 2010, 10 albums were funded by TMP to the tune of $50,000 each. In 2015, not one successful applicant was funded to the tune of $50,000 but there were smaller amounts of funding allocated for the production of single tracks and 3-4 track EPs.
“For those music producers who are capable of doing ten tracks to an album of high quality Māori language waiata, then we are quite open to that but others choose to either do EP's or just single tracks,” says Bishara.
But artist and producer Amomai Pihama says while the move appeals to wider audiences, she has some concerns around the producing albums, “It's only right that the option to make albums is available. If it isn't there, where is the platform to hear great albums like those made by Ruia Aperahama, Hinewehi Mohi and Moana Maniapoto. These were some of the albums we grew up with.”