Te Matatini has released their debut single, Te Matatini Ki Te Ao. The single features some of kapa haka's strongest singers and producer Ani Piki Tuari says it's another platform for Te Matatini to promote te reo Māori.
It’s a song where fewer words speak volumes so that the Māori language may thrive within the listeners.
Producer Ani Piki Tuari says, “It's so that people become familiar with the words and tune so that it's easy to remember.”
"I've been in a lot of scenarios where people have just caught the tune straight away, purely because of the repetitiveness of the chorus."
Singer and composer Hamiora Tuari is an example of the place of Māori music in language revitalisation. He's been living away from home for some time but has been surrounded by te reo through this project by Te Matatini.
He says, "There are times where I've completely had to jump right outside of my shell. It's been hard but at the moment I've told myself to do it because this is what I love."
Ani Piki Tuari says, "He's found another way to bring his language back to life through one of his biggest passions, singing."
She says there is a high demand amongst reo Māori speaking families to hear new songs in their homes.
“So that te reo Māori is the main language in their lives. So things like Māori songs are a good strategy for them. Also, if the children enjoy songs, that enriches the language in their lives.”
It’s an enticing preview of the calibre of singers that’ll be heard at the Te Matatini Kapa Haka Festival next February.