Ko Rei, rātau ko Troy Kīngi me Louis Baker ngā kōwhiringa whakamutunga mō te wāhanga Kaiwaiata Māori Toa i tēnei tau.

I te rā nei, ka whakaingoatia ngā kōwhiringa whakamutunga e toru mō te tohu a Te Māngai Pāho, arā, ko Te Kaipuoro Māori Toa, ki Ngā Tohu Puoro o Aotearoa, 2019. Kua tohua a Rei, rātau ko Troy Kīngi me Louis Baker mō ā rātau hoatu hei kaiwaiata Māori ki te rāngai puoro o Aotearoa me Te Ao Māori anō hoki.

He nui tā Rei whakaaweawe i te rāngai puoro o Aotearoa i roto i ngā tau tata nei. Nō te tau 2018 whakarewahia ai e ia tana kōpae a RANGATIRA, he mea whakamihia anō tāna whakamāori i te momo puoro rapi ō mua nei ko te ‘trap’ me te tito anō hoki i āna kupu ki te reo Māori.

Nō tēnei tau tonu whakarewahia ai e ia tana kōpae tuatoru THE BRIDGE me tana tūhono i ngā tūmomo puoro ki te reo Māori me te ahurea Māori anō hoki.  Tuia atu ki tērā ko te reo rōreka R&B, ngā whakakōingoingo hip-hop, pop anō hoki, he mea paiheretia ki te pākahatanga o te ahurea Māori – he tauākī nui nā tētahi o ngā tino pūmanawa haetara o Aotearoa. He kōwhiringa whakamutunga anō hoki a Rei mō Te Kaipuoro Awe Toa.

Kia 10 kōpae i roto i te tekau tau te whāinga a Troy Kīngi, he kaiwaiata nō roto mai o Kerikeri kātahi anō nei ka eke ki pae tata i te whakarewanga o tana kōpae tuatoru a HOLY COLONY BURNING ACRES – he whakatewhatewha matawhaiaro, wairua anō hoki ki ngā pōraruraru kua pā ki ngā iwi taketake huri i te ao.

E mau nei i te ingoa o Troy Kīngi & The Upperclass, kua whakaingoatia ia mō Te Kaiwaiata Māori Toa me Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa i tēnei tau. Nō muri mai tēnei i tana whakawhiwhinga ki te tohu Tui mō Te Kaipuoro Awe Toa me Te Kaiwaiata Māori Toa mō tana waiata Shake That Skinny Ass All The Way To Zygerton. He mea whakaaweawetia tana kōpae tuarua e te epic-funk he tō mai anō hoki i ngā āhua mātuatua o te sci-fi soul, te interstellar love me te cosmic funk o ngā tau 70.

Mai i te tau 2013 a Louis Baker e tāmatatia ana tāna ope kaiwhaiwhai, ā, kua whai hua anō tō rātau manawanui i te whakarewanga o tana kōpae tuatahi a OPEN i tēnei tau. Kua whai wāhi atu hoki tāna waiata whakaohooho a THE PEOPLE e whakamānawa ana i te wairua whakakotahi, kanorau anō hoki o tōna ūkaipō.

Nōna e tipu ake ana i te takiwā o Newtown ki Te Whanganui ā Tara, ka whakawhanakehia e Louis tōna kohara ki ngā mahi puoro i te wā o tōna ohinga, i a ia e whakarongo ana ki ngā kohinga waiata rerekē a ōna mātua, me ngā momo pēnei i a Miles Davis, a Marvin Gaye me Jimi Hendrix – he mea hikaia tōna ngākaunui mauroa ki ngā mahi puoro.

Hei tā Damian Vaughan, ūpoko o Recorded Music New Zealand, he mea whakaaweawe te aranga ake anō o te Ao Māori i te ahurea o te marea me ngā mahi puoro, he tō mai anō hoki i tētahi aronga ahurea hou ki te hapori whānui o Aotearoa.

“Ahakoa he aha te momo, mārakerake ana te kitea kua tino puta te hunga kaiwaiata Māori ki te ao mārama kia whitikina ai e ngā hihi o angitū. Me mihi ra ka tika”

“Kua ngaringari ake ngā toki Māori e rongohia ana i runga i ngā reo irirangi, ipurangi hoki – he tino whakamīharo rawa. E hiamo katoa ana au kia kite i te tokotoru nei me ō rātau hoa e whakatieke ana me te tauawhi, tūhura anō hoki i te wāhanga ki Te Ao Māori i roto i ā rātau mahi toi.”

Ka whakaingotia te Kaiwaiata Māori Toa ki te pō tuku i Ngā Tohu Puoro o Aotearoa i te 14 o Whiringa-ā-Rangi mai i te 8.30pm, ā, ka kitea hoki te pāhotanga mataora i te hongere tuatoru.

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Today we’re announcing the three finalists for Te Māngai Pāho Best Māori Artist | Te Kaipuoro Māori Toa at the 2019 Vodafone New Zealand Awards. Rei, Troy Kingi and Louis Baker have been recognised for their contribution as Māori musicians to Aotearoa’s local music scene and Te Ao Māori.

Rei has been making waves in Aotearoa’s music scene in recent years. He released the EP Rangatira in 2018, which was acclaimed for the unique Kiwi take on traditional trap music while featuring lyrics entirely in Te Reo.

Earlier this year, he released his third album The Bridge and continues to link the gap between genres, language and culture. With his concoction of smooth-talking R&B, hip hop and pop undertones, mixed with strongly rooted Māori heritage, the album’s a strong statement from one of Aotearoa’s most exciting talents. Rei is also a finalist for Best Soul/RnB Artist | Te Kaipuoro Awe Toa.

On a mission to release 10 albums in 10 years, Kerikeri-based musician Troy Kingi has done it again with the release of his third album Holy Colony Burning Acres, a deeply personal and spiritual examination of the plight of First Nations peoples around the world.

Under the moniker Troy Kingi & The Upperclass he’s nominated for both Best Māori Artist and Best Roots Artist | Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa at this year’s awards after winning the Best Soul/RnB and Best Māori Artist Tui in 2018 for Shake That Skinny Ass All The Way To Zygertron, his epic funk-infused sophmore album taking inspiration from sci-fi soul, interstellar love and 70s cosmic funk.

Louis Baker has been cultivating a huge fanbase since 2013, who have finally been rewarded for their patience with the release of his debut album Open this year. The record features Baker’s uplifting anthem ‘The People’ which captures the loving unity and diversity of Baker’s hometown.

Growing up in the working-class suburb of Newtown, Wellington, Louis developed his passion for music at an early age listening to his parent’s diverse record collection, which featured the likes of Miles Davis, Marvin Gaye and Jimi Hendrix – sparking a lifelong obsession with music.

Recorded Music New Zealand CEO Damian Vaughan says the continued resurgence of Te Ao Māori in popular culture and music is inspiring, bringing a new cultural lens to New Zealand society.

“Across a diverse range of genres, it’s clear that Māori musicians are stepping into the spotlight and achieving the success they deserve,” says Vaughan.

“The growing amount of unique Māori identities we’re hearing on the radio and on streaming services is simply incredible. I look forward to seeing these three artists – and their Māori music contemporaries – push the envelope and continue to embrace and explore Te Ao Māori in their art.”

The winner of the 2019 Te Māngai Pāho Best Māori Artist will be announced at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards | Ngā Tohu Puoro o Aotearoa on 14 November from 8.30pm and broadcast live on THREE