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