Te reo call to awaken

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By BRIAR BABINGTON

Hon­goeka Bay res­i­dent Ranea Aper­a­hama is chuffed by the suc­cess of his lat­est al­bum, which al­ready has two songs in the te reo Maori top 20.

Aper­a­hama is re­mem­bered as a trom­bon­ist with the band South­side of Bom­bay, which pro­duced hit song What’s the Time, Mr Wolf?

His lat­est al­bum marks a new di­rec­tion.

He is head­ing out on a solo ven­ture af­ter a break from the mu­sic in­dus­try, and his de­but al­bum, Ti­hei Mauri Ora, claimed one of the top spots on the Maori ra­dio airplay charts.

‘‘The [ti­tle] song is about the call­ing of the na­tion, the awak­en­ing of our con­scious­ness to be aware of what’s ac­tu­ally hap­pen­ing in our land,’’ he said.

Ti­hei Mauri Ora was born af­ter his long-time friend, mu­sic pro- ducer Maaka Phat, en­cour­aged him to get back into the record­ing stu­dio and put pen to pa­per.

The al­bum is a col­lec­tion of evoca­tive songs that Aper­a­hama has had float­ing around in his head for 20 years.

The songs were in­spired by the Ratana move­ment, his cul­ture and up­bring­ing.

‘‘I was brought up pan-tribal so I grew up hear­ing a lot of proverbs from dif­fer­ent tribal ar­eas but they’re all speak­ing about a com­mon theme.

‘‘The source of in­spi­ra­tion for the top­ics in the al­bum comes from that up­bring­ing.’’

The al­bum is in te reo Maori, and Aper­a­hama said it had a lot to live up to af­ter his and his twin brother’s pre­vi­ous al­bum col­lab­o­ra­tion, Whare Maori, had been so well re­ceived.

‘‘All the in­ter­views I’ve done, they go, ‘ We’ve never heard an al­bum like Whare Maori be­fore, and then you bring Ti­hei Mauri Ora out and we’ve never heard an­other al­bum like [it]’.

‘‘ They’re so ex­cited then I re­alised how much of a bench­mark Whare Maori was,’’ Aper­a­hama says.

‘‘Bring­ing Ti­hei Mauri Ora

out has taken it up an­other level.’’

Aper­a­hama was re­luc­tant to pick favourites from the al­bum but said Ki Uta had been the most in­trigu­ing be­cause of its de­par­ture from his usual, up­beat style and it had res­onated well with fans.

‘‘It’s such an in­ti­mate song. It’s very emo­tional and heart­felt.’’

Aper­a­hama is en­rolled in a carv­ing course at Whi­tireia.

A tour is in the works and he wants to re­lease an­other al­bum by 2018 to co­in­cide with the Ratana move­ment’s 100-year cel­e­bra­tion.

Photo: BRIAR BABINGTON

Mu­si­cian Ranea Aper­a­hama works on the carv­ings for his patu (a Maori drum) for use in live per­for­mances.

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