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September 11, 2018 | by  | in Arts Music |
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Arotake Waiata

Aotearoa has a diverse and small music industry, with many successful exports and a sometimes-hidden or soon to be discovered local talent. Yes, there is Stan Walker and the like but there is also much more to be discovered in the slightly less mainstream spheres. I’d like to draw your attention to two important Māori musicians of today creating in these spaces.

Marlon Williams

This globe-trotting modern Māori legend is critically acclaimed worldwide. Hailing from Ōtautahi, this Ngāi Tahu contemporary country/blues artist has toured the world several times now and has even been coined as ‘the Māori Elvis’. Country music might be seen as a turn-off to some, but Marlon makes it cool again. His songs range from the upbeat that will get you ready for a Friday night, to ballads that will be there for your next break up. These are melodies to melt to. If you ever get the chance to see him live, be sure to get tickets early as local shows always sell out. His latest record came out earlier this year and is well worth the listen. Make Way For Love is available on all the usual platforms and physical copies exist for those good people who still buy music.

Soccer Practice

Before seeing Soccer Practice live, the only Māori I’d ever heard spoken at a gig was co-har (koha). Soccer Practice have carved out a space where te reo Māori can be proudly privileged (and pronounced correctly) in New Zealand’s indie music scene. Their throbbing beats and electronic treats are matched with stimulating visuals at live show – something you’ll have to see for yourself. Hailing from Tāmaki Makaurau, they have had a run of successful shows nationwide. Keep an eye peeled on local gig guides as they are sure to be touring again soon due to a recent release: Kaua e Mate Wheke (available on Spotify now) Earlier this year they put on a stunning performance at the opening of Te Papa’s rejuvenated exhibition space Toi Art. If you haven’t heard of them yet, you are likely to going forward as they just got signed to Kartel Music Group (UK) who also represent the likes of Fat Boy Slim and Peaches.

Nā Symon Palmer

Ngāi Te Rangi

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