Thirteen year-old Tyree Wall (Tūwharetoa; Tutemohuta) of Waitahanui, Taupō placed second in the 2020 E Tū Whānau Rangatahi Song Competition, taking home $500 in vouchers and plenty to feel good about.
With powerhouses such as Beyonce and Ariana Grande as inspirational favourites, Tyree has loved music since he was little. He began to sing in public last year after overcoming feelings of whakamā, and already has a couple of live performances under his belt.
His soulful waiata, Better, offers aroha and encouragement to people – especially rangatahi – who encounter struggles and hard times. Tyree says that the idea behind his song was to pick people up, and let them know that things do get better, to not give up.
“If there’s anything
That can give you wings
And help you climb the slope
And make you sing,
Let it be hope.”
Listen to Tyree Wall sing Better.
Reminding us that we’re not alone
Tyree Wall’s own experiences of struggling in life, and then coming through the other side to better times inspired him to write Better. He chose to connect with the E Tū Whānau values of kōrero awhi and whanaungatanga through his song. Values of respect and connection are important as they remind people that they are not alone, he says.
“When you’re feeling down
And you’re feeling really low –
We’ve all been there.”
Better and better
Tyree admits to finding it nerve-wracking to sing in front of other people, but he’s pleased that he’s overcome feeling whakamā and is now doing something that he loves.
Tyree Wall – Second place winner in 2020 E Tū Whānau Rangatahi Song Competition
“Playing live was scary, but I’m proud of myself that I actually stood up there and sang. It really changed my life I guess,” he says.
The aroha he received when performing live helped Tyree through his nerves, and the encouragement and tautoko that he has received from his whānau has kept him composing and singing. For Tyree, all this manaaki and whanaungatanga have helped him feel more confident in himself as a person and musician.
This growing belief in himself is reflected in the lyrics of the song Tyree Wall entered into the 2020 E Tū Whānau Rangatahi Song Competition. They show that music continues to make things better and better for him.
“You don’t have to listen
To the things you’ve heard,
Just close the door.”
Tyree Wall: Humble and grateful
Tyree likes the idea of helping others, and he’s encouraged that some people might listen to his song to pick themselves up.
“It’s a real good feeling because it’s like, Wow! You can make someone better with just singing a song,” Tyree says.
It’s no surprise then that Tyree sees music and performance playing a big part in this future. He says he’s beginning to enjoy showing people what he’s got musically, and his road ahead looks bright.
“I see myself singing in big concerts with thousands of people, and making my own albums. Being an artist,” Tyree Wall says.
However, like all true stars, Tyree appreciates that his success rests in the support of those who are opening doors and making it possible for him to begin reaching for his dreams.
“Thank you E Tū Whānau for this opportunity, and for choosing me – what the hell! Thank you,” Tyree Wall says.