Original reo Māori album ‘Waiata Bros’ to be released this Mahuru Māori
To celebrate Mahuru Māori, tamariki from kura across Ōtaki are helping launch eight original waiata and animations aimed at getting everyone excited about te reo Māori.
20-year-old animator Turanga Mahutonga (pictured right) has created Waiata Bros: a series of fun animated music videos that teach words and phrases in te reo Māori for everyone to sing along to.
Turanga Mahutonga (Taranaki, Te Arawa, Ngāti Whakaue) grew up in a Māori speaking whānau in Rotorua. Music and art was celebrated and encouraged at home, so it’s little wonder that Turanga combines his creative talent with his passion for te reo Māori.
Waiata Bros started when Turanga moved to Ōtaki in 2021 for an animation intensifier course at the Māoriland Tech Creative Hub – MATCH.
For his graduation project Turanga presented an animation of waiata and te reo Māori aimed at tamariki. The tune was a hit right away with children and adults alike. Turanga knew he was onto something.
“Everyone was happy when they heard my waiata. They quickly picked up the words and I would hear them singing it for days afterwards. Even those who were learning te reo Māori were singing along. It was exactly what I wanted to happen and it spurred me to write and animate more waiata” says Turanga.
This was the beginning of Turanga’s vision: WAIATA BROS. He has now written and animated eight catchy waiata that offer words and phrases to help anyone feel comfortable about speaking te reo. His songs include language about kai, jobs, numbers, emotions, pepeha and greetings.
Waiata Bros will be released on all major music streaming platforms including YouTube on 21 September 2022.
There will be two live activations of Waiata Bros at the Māoriland Hub in Ōtaki on Wednesday as part of a month long calendar of events to coincide with Mahuru Māori.
The first session of the Waiata Bros launch will be all in Te Reo Māori, from 11.15-12.15pm. The second session will be in English and Te Reo and will be from 1.30-2.30pm, this Wednesday 7th of September.
The launch of WAIATA BROS will be livestreamed with invites going out to any kura who would like to join in, in particular Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ruamata, the kura that Turanga attended.
Turanga is now a fulltime animator at MATCH. Along with other MATCH graduates they have just completed five animated Pakiwaitara or fairytales for Te Wananga o Raukawa. Turanga also won an award for best actor for his first acting role in a short film, Manu Masters at the Māoriland Film Festival 2021.
Turanga is a smart and personable interviewee in te reo Māori and English. For an interview or other details please contact.
Madeleine Hakaraia de Young
021 120 7615
This project has been developed through the M.A.T.C.H Incubator. With training, mentorship, and industry-led opportunities M.A.T.C.H is a pathway for rangatahi to high-value careers as the producers, developers, and thought-pioneers of the future. Turanga is a graduate of the second intake of M.A.T.C.H (Jan 2021) and impressed with his passion and skills for reo Māori, art and animation. Waiata Bros is produced by Māoriland Productions.