GRAMMY® Award-winning multiplatinum artist Lorde today releases her Te Reo Māori EP ‘Te Ao Mārama’.
“I have some VERY EXCITING NEWS. News I’ve been waiting a really long time to share with you. It is my great pleasure to present TE AO MĀRAMA, a 5-song companion piece to SOLAR POWER, sung entirely in te reo Māori, the indigenous language of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Many things revealed themselves slowly to me while I was making this album, but the main realisation by far was that much of my value system around caring for and listening to the natural world comes from traditional Māori principles. There’s a word for it in te reo: kaitiakitanga, meaning ‘guardianship or caregiving for the sky, sea and land’. I’m not Māori, but all New Zealanders grow up with elements of this worldview. Te ao Māori and tikanga Māori are a big part of why people who aren’t from here intuit our country to be kind of ‘magical’, I think. I know I’m someone who represents New Zealand globally in a way, and in making an album about where I’m from, it was important to me to be able to say: this makes us who we are down here. It’s also just a crazy beautiful language- I loved singing in it. Even if you don’t understand te reo, I think you’ll get a kick out of how elegant my words sound in it. Hana’s translations for Te Ara Tika / The Path and Hine-i-te-Awatea / Oceanic Feeling in particular take my g-d breath away.
I told the full story of the project to Leonie Hayden, editor at The Spinoff Ātea, which I highly recommend you check out here.
Huge thanks go to Hemi and Hana for their exquisite translations and general wisdom/mana/lols, to Madeline and her aunties Sandra and Marian for their expert guidance, to my favourite Kiwi musicians Bic Runga and Marlon Williams who grace these songs, to Huia Hamon for graciously allowing me to colourise one of her papa Rei’s iconic works for the cover, and of course to Dame Hinewehi Mohi and the greatest of all time, Sir Tīmoti Kāretu for overseeing this. Absolute royalty in the credits!!!
All proceeds from TE AO MĀRAMA will go to two amazing NZ-based charities- Forest and Birdand Te Hua Kawariki Charitable Trust.