Singer em­braces pro­mot­ing her­itage

Central Leader - - NEWS - By ALASTAIR LYNN

For mu­si­cian Ed Waaka, Matariki is all about cel­e­brat­ing her­itage.

The singer-song­writer will be bring­ing in the Maori New Year by play­ing sev­eral shows for the 2015 Matariki fes­ti­val.

The Grey Lynn res­i­dent feels priv­i­leged to be in­volved in the month-long pro­gramme of events across Auck­land.

‘‘For me grow­ing up I didn’t get much of a chance to learn the lan­guage but this is great be­cause it has ex­posed me to that other side of my her­itage,’’ he says.

‘‘[The fes­ti­val] is great be­cause it’s based all around the Maori lan­guage.’’

Waaka will per­form in the Matariki on the Move show­case, in shows from Pt Che­va­lier to Otara.

He is used to play­ing a ‘‘stripped back’’ style of mu­sic but de­cided to per­form his soul/folk mu­sic with a band for the Matariki shows.

‘‘I don’t usu­ally need a big back­ing band to get me through,’’ he says.

‘‘I’m em­brac­ing play­ing with the band. It’s an awe­some op­por­tu­nity to play with some tal­ented mu­si­cians.’’

Waaka has been work­ing hard to com­plete an EP. His latest sin­gle Crazy is be­ing re­leased to co­in­cide with his per­for­mances in the fes­ti­val, which are June 24-27.

Meet­ing new peo­ple is what Waaka looks for­ward to the most about per­form­ing.

‘‘I do like the big events but I do re­ally love the in­ti­mate ones as well.

‘‘It’s in those smaller gigs that you get peo­ple com­ing up to you af­ter the show and say­ing how much they en­joyed it.

‘‘That’s what’s great be­cause what I’m do­ing is sto­ry­telling,’’ he says.

The Matariki fes­ti­val runs across Auck­land from June 20 to July 19.

Ed Waaka is look­ing for­ward to the Matariki on the Move show­case.

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