Eight new kaiwaiata, eight new waiata reo Māori and eight new Māori music videos from a new generation feature on WAIATA NATION II – premiering on Māori Television this Thursday 5 August 2021 at 9.00 pm.

The second series of the hit show sees Maimoa Music members Nathaniel Howe and Pere Wihongi mentoring an entirely new group of up-and-coming Māori artists to take on the waiata reo Māori challenge. Producer/director Nathaniel Howe says the ultimate goal is to establish Waiata Nation as a brand that provides a launching pad for fluent waiata Māori.

“From the voice of Māori Moana to X Factor Australia finalists, WAIATA NATION II will pump out some of the best waiata reo Māori of 2021 – and at the same time shine the spotlight on the next generation of kaiwaiata Māori,” promises Howe.

“I think we’re at a real pivotal time for waiata reo Māori. We’ve just seen the launch of the official reo Māori music chart and it’s been amazing to see the growth and development in this space, especially from those artists coming from non-reo backgrounds.

“What WAIATA NATION II presents is some of the best that te ao Māori has to offer from among that new generation who are all at different stages of their reo Maori journeys. The artists will tell tales of triumph and heartbreak. It’s going to be brilliant to watch these waiata reo Māori journeys.”

Coming up in WAIATA NATION II:

EPISODE 1 – Thursday 5 August 2021 at 9.00 PM: Jaedyn Randell – ‘Patupaiārehe’

Hailing from the Waikato, the first kaiwaiata had an early claim to fame as the voice of Māori Moana while still in kura. Jaedyn Randell is a familiar face to the rangatahi haka stage after becoming kaitātaki wahine champion at the secondary school nationals in 2018. Since leaving school, she has started up her own YouTube channel. In this episode, Jaedyn opens up about her struggle to find her identity as a fair-skinned Māori through her song ‘Patupaiārehe’. Taking on the challenge for WAIATA NATION II wasn’t easy as her first language isn't reo Māori but with hard work and determination, she managed to put together an ethereal song and music video for everybody to enjoy.

EPISODE 2 – Thursday 12 August 2021 at 9.00 PM: Thomas Rawiri – ‘Hiringa’

Making a name for himself in and around the Māori university scene as the lead singer for indy Māori reggae band IHI, Thomas Rawiri joins the Waiata Nation kaupapa to bring back the sweet sound of Aotearoa reggae. Thomas touches on themes of karakia and meditation as he infuses an easy-going reggae vibe with the beauty of New Zealand’s great outdoors. His mauri tau personality brings the good vibes to WAIATA NATION II.

EPISODE 3 – Thursday 19 August 2021 at 9.00 PM: Hamo Dell – ‘Kōkā’

There isn't a stage in Aotearoa that hasn't been blessed by the angelic voice of Hamo Dell. As the former lead singer of Tomorrow People, the princess of Ngāti Porou and Ngāi Tahu is not typically known for releasing waiata reo Māori. Hamo showcases a different side to her talent as she delves into her new journey of being a māmā. Her song is all about empowering wāhine Māori to know that even though they are mothers, they are so much more!

EPISODE 4 – Thursday 26 August 2021 at 9.00 PM: Rongomai Taiapa

Rongomai Taiapa featured on last year’s Waiata Nation singing the praises of his baby sister, Puawai, one of the original Maimoa contingent in the first series. In 2021, he gets a turn to show Aotearoa what he can do. A famous haka soloist who led secondary school national champions Te Piringa in 2008, Rongo uses a pop and soul song to spread a message of unity amongst our diverse cultures.

EPISODE 5 – Thursday 2 September 2021 at 9.00 PM: Crete – ‘Tārua’

Using music for healing and self-discovery, Crete shares her experience of finding song after the shock death of her pāpā a few years back. Crete’s waiata is a heartfelt tribute to her late pāpā. She talks about a sign her and her whānau witnessed as two āniwaniwa (rainbows) covered the sky at her uncle’s rā nehu (burial) – only to find on the same day that her pāpā would pass away. Since then, she's been releasing viral videos of covers that have amassed millions of views and gained her tens of thousands of followers.

EPISODE 6 – Thursday 9 September 2021 at 9.00 PM: Sianne – ‘Whakarehu’

A winner of Homai te Pakipaki and a local of the music scene in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Sianne takes on a different genre of music from the roots and reggae she is known for. She has amassed tens of thousands of social media followers due to the incredible range of her voice and her ability to hit a power note that is uncharacteristic of kaiwaiata in New Zealand. Through this kaupapa, Sianne attempts to break out into a more soulful style of waiata. It’s not going to be easy though as the mum of two feels homesick mid-way through the challenge.

EPISODE 7 – Thursday 16 September 2021 at 9.00 PM: Mohi – ‘E Ki!’

He goes by the alias of Mr Ra so it’s no wonder he has a stage name as Mohi Allen (Ngāpuhi) balances a smooth soulful voice with unique swag and style. Mohi grew up in the heart of west Auckland and has been chipping away slowly at his dream of becoming a music artist. Even though the singer/songwriter hasn’t hit the big time yet, it is only a matter of time. Thanks to Mohi, WAIATA NATION II releases what could be the ‘jazziest’ reo Māori song there has ever been.

EPISODE 8 – Thursday 23 September 2021 at 9.00 PM: Trojahn – ‘Moewaka’

X Factor Australia didn’t know what to expect when they saw a six-foot tall Tūhoe stallion cross the stage. But the textured deep voice of Trojahn Tuna won the judges over and eventually got him into the finals. The final artist in WAIATA NATION II ends the series with a bang by blending R’n’B and soul with a strong message about a very real issue affecting our people: homelessness.

WAIATA NATION II – premiering on Māori Television this Thursday 5 August 2021 at 9.00 pm and available to view on the MĀORI+ app.


For images, interviews or further information, contact:

Kirk MacGibbon

Mātanga Tuku Kōrero / Communications Specialist

MOB: +64 211 909 382

EML: kirk.macgibbon@maoritelevision.com