Top Spotify artist serenades whānau at Tahuna Pā

By Harata Brown
  • Auckland

Parson James is one of Spotify's Top 15 Artists To Watch. The US Singer/Songwriter touched down at Tahuna Pā in Waiuku, where the rangatahi of Ngāti Te Ata treated him to a humble performance before his very first New Zealand performance. 

Fresh from the US, Parson James performs at Tahuna Pā. It's the Singer/Songwriter's first time in New Zealand and his first taste of Māori culture.

"It's just so full of love and overwhelming talent, the sense of community is beautiful, it's indescribable, you have to see it, you can't put it into words,"  says James.

After the Spotify star was given a traditional welcome by the local Ngāti Te Ata tribe, one of Tahuna Pā's very own sang their own version of Tennessee Whiskey to the international star from South Carolina

Kahurangi Taylor was responsible for organising the Tahuna Marae welcome. 

"So, yesterday we got a call to say that he had a bit of spear time today. So, we have been running around frantically to try and get the place organised. It's a real eye-opening opportunity for young people to see him here. He's someone that's so down to earth and he's come to this Marae on the other side of the world," says Taylor.

Mr. James performance here at the pā is one of a kind, given that his only other public performance in New Zealand will be held at St Mary's Church in Parnell tonight.

James says, "It's a free event but we are taking donations for the Orlando Shootings back in the States. And I thought New Zealand has been such a progressive country in terms of many things, in particular, LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, By-Sexual and Transgender) rights." 

On The Temple singer's to do list in New Zealand, he admits he wants to visit the Hobbit Village before his departure on Saturday.