Fourteen year-old Teremoana Crawford (aka TJ May Crow) (Ngāti Porou) of Wainuiomata has taken out third place in the Rangatahi Category of this year’s E Tū Whānau Song Competition, with her soulful entry, Can You Hear Me?
“For all the young people, my message is that they can do something. They can make changes to themselves, to everyone around them, and to their environments.”
Listen to Can you hear me?
Rangatahi calling for positive change
Like many other rangatahi today, Teremoana has found her voice and is using it to call for change though her music. Indeed, her vocal style is direct and straight from the heart, weaving strength and conviction throughout Can You Hear Me?
“Take me to a place where everybody learns, where everybody sees, where everybody shows their love.”
The idea for her song came from concern at the way of the world today, she says. However, Can You Hear Me? is the result of collaboration with her whānau. Working with her parents and brother, she was able to produce a waiata full of her own personality in the lyrics, she says.
Although the song’s chorus line – “Can you hear me? I am calling now” – is her favourite, the song’s message of peace, love and harmony is the most important part, she says.
“You need to put more out there, give love to everyone and try and make the world a better place with whatever you can contribute.”
A win for all of Teremoana’s family
In Teremoana Crawford’s whare, music has always brought people together for good times. Her parents are her biggest musical inspiration, she says, but her whole whānau has encouraged her to keep learning the piano, singing and making original music.
Not that she needs much motivation to make music, because it makes her feel free, alive and on fire. Its power lies not only in giving messages, but also in always being there to come back to, she says.
“Music is very healing. You can listen to it whenever you need to feel uplifted, or in need of encouragement. Music helps me a lot to settle things down in the moment. It’s like an outlet.”
Teremoana Crawford – no stranger to success
Although this is the first time that Teremoana Crawford has entered the E Tū Whānau song competition, she has already begun establishing herself in the online musical world, and in original-song competitions.
Earlier this year, she found success in the Flava Radio song competition. Since then, she has been warmly received in competitions run out of the USA, winning the Maze Radio Top Artist, and The Greengame Track Battle.
That said, Teremoana clearly still has her feet firmly on humble ground right here in Aotearoa. Mindful of whanaungatanga, and that we are all connected in our successes and opportunities, her final words are of gratitude and appreciation.
“I just wanted to thank E Tū Whānau for giving us the opportunity.”