Theia (Waikato-Tainui, Ngaati Tiipaa) has today released the beautifully crafted debut album from her reo Māori project, TE KAAHU, including the soaring new waiata ‘Pai Maarire’, which carries a powerful message of peace.
Watch the video for ‘Pai Maarire’ HERE
Titled TE KAAHU O RANGI, the album is made up of nine exquisite waiata, which each deliver their own poignant message – messages of love, peace, healing, and hope - while collectively serving as a tribute to Theia’s tūpuna wāhine and her beloved haukāinga in the Waikato, as well as the principles of Te Ao Māori.
The album contains several already released tracks (‘E Taku Huia Kaimanawa’, ‘E Hine Ē’, ‘Rangirara’, ‘Waikato’) alongside five new waiata, including the uplifting ‘Pai Maarire’.
‘Pai Maarire’ references the faith founded by the prophet Te Ua Haumēne, who led a movement of peaceful resistance against a backdrop of war and land confiscations. “It was important to honour those who stood so firmly in love and peace, but at the same time to remember the deep lingering pain and hurt our people have suffered.” says Theia.
The album was produced by the award-winning Jol Mulholland at The Lab, with Theia herself co-producing several tracks. On the record, the critically-acclaimed artist’s angelic vocals are front and centre, wrapped in a warm nostalgic sound that serves as a nod to a bygone era. “These are songs my grandmothers and aunties would’ve cried to, danced to, and loved,” she says.
The album will be played live in its entirety in the first official TE KAAHU show in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland on June 24 – marking Aotearoa’s inaugural Matariki public holiday. “I’m honoured to perform my album for the first time, which is also the first year Matariki is observed as a national celebration. Matariki represents rebirth, gathering together and remembering our dearly departed; these are also the themes explored in TE KAAHU O RANGI.”
Tickets for the all-ages show at The Tuning Fork in Auckland on Friday June 24are available HERE
Theia plans to release the album on vinyl later this year after successfully raising the funds through a Boosted campaign, with support from Auckland Council.
“I am so grateful that I can now present this album as a taonga tuku iho - a treasure to be cherished and played for years to come. The generosity of those who helped me achieve this won’t be forgotten.”
Theia is a highly regarded songwriter, who has written with the likes of Mike Elizondo, Emily Warren, Mozella and Guy Sebastian. She has twice been a finalist in the hotly contested International Songwriting Competition – in 2020 taking third place in the ‘pop’ category amongst thousands of entries with her song ‘Not Your Princess’. In 2020 she was also awarded 2nd place in the Unsigned Only (Top 40/Pop) songwriting competition. Aside from releasing her debut TE KAAHU album, she is currently working on a new Theia album, set for release in 2023.
TE KAAHU - TE KAAHU O RANGI - out now.