15-year old Nikau Grace (Chater) is proud to deliver her latest offering, ‘Tōku Tuakiri.’ A powerful waiata that is released as a part of the 2023 Waiata Anthems, during NZ Music Month.
The Kawerau born artist was awarded a Waiata Takitahi grant to produce the bilingual single and music video, working with Whaea Leeda Webster to translate her lyrics.
Translating to ‘My Identity’, Nikau explains the inspiration behind the track came from dealing with the pressure of others telling her who she should be, “Tōku Tuakiri to me is who you are, how you identify, the people who help make me, me. I still haven't quite figured out my identity yet, but I'd say I've got time. I don't believe I have to know it all now, there's no pressure to have all the answers.”
The new single is a stunning, layered waiata that shows power both lyrically and sonically. Working with producer Nic Manders, the pair's dedication to delivering an authentic and immersive musical experience shines through in the single. The choir on the track is from the Rotorua Accelerando Programme and was recorded live at St Faiths church, with Nikau conducting the choir herself.
Waiata Anthems have further supported the release with a short documentary about the single and her journey in Te Reo Maori, due to be released on the same day. “I just wanna thank the Pare and the whole team from Waiata Anthems that made something I was a bit nervous about, so exciting and fun to be a part of.”
‘Tōku Tuakiri’ is out Friday, 19th May on all streaming platforms, with the music video premiering on YouTube at 7pm.