Judge inspired by songs

Maaka McGregor, one of three E Tū Whānau Song Competition judges

Voting in the 2017 E Tū Whānau Song Competition closes on Monday at 5pm so you’ve got the whole weekend – and a day or two on the side – to listen to this year’s entries here and vote each day for your favs.

Multi-award winning musician, producer and broadcast engineer, Maaka McGregor and fellow judges, Maisey Rika and Ranea Aperahama, have a busy week coming up. They will be judging the top 10 songs with the most votes to determine who will receive 1st prize ($5000), 2nd prize ($2000) and 3rd prize ($1000). A prize for Most Votes ($2000) will also be awarded.

Creative waiata

Maaka says this year’s entries are shaping up to be as varied, inspiring and creative as last year’s, and that’s saying heaps.

Known in the industry as Maaka Phat, Maaka took time out from the studio where he is currently working on a third album by well known Ōtaki band Iwi, to talk about E Tū Whānau – Inspiring Positive Change vol.1, the compilation CD which features the three winning entries from last year’s competition.

They are, ‘Whakatō Te Kākano’ by the group Mauri (Raniera Watene Samuels, Kawai Joe, Te Irirangi Maxwell, Tatana and Tame Tuari); ‘Keep Moving Forward’ by Te Rina Flavell-Kahle and Fairy-Allen Rikihana; and ‘Bring Mana to Your Name’ by Pianika Duncan.

Winners recorded

“These highly original and talented artists all brought something fresh into the studio and really embraced the E Tū Whānau kaupapa by trying to bring positive change to our world through their music.”

The musicians travelled to Wellington and worked with engineer Mike Gibson of Munki Studios to record their vocals at Peter Jackson’s Park Road Post facility. The tracks were mixed by Maaka at Suite As Studios, Porirua.

Each track, says Maaka, is different in style and content.

“That’s what makes them so outstanding.

Inspiring Positive Change

“ ‘Whakatō Te Kākano’, for example, is an unconventional rap. There’s a bit of whakapapa in there, some nice imagery, lovely use of old kupu and good Ngāti Porou stories – great storytelling.

“Te Rina and Fairy-Allen’s waiata, ‘Keep Moving Forward’ speaks from the heart. These young women have managed to turn some hard experiences into positive music that just encourages us all to keep moving forward, no matter what.

“And in ‘Bring Mana to Your Name’, Pianika comes up with some fresh sounds to remind us that there are always consequences to our actions so we’d be wise to heed the words in the title.”

Each of the tracks on ‘E Tū Whānau – Inspiring Positive Change: Vol.1’ have been released as singles and are now available for download and streaming on iTunes, Spotify and other digital platforms.

So remember whānau – keep voting for your favourite song and give another batch of great Māori musicians the chance to take their talents and their tunes to a wider audience.  Listen to the songs and vote here.