Ariana Tikao


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NZ’s folk-world Maori songstress with three acclaimed albums, ‘Whaea’, ‘Tuia’ & ‘From Dust to Light’.

Ariana is a unique performer and composer of heartfelt music in both Te Reo Māori and English. She draws on folk and pop styles with a strong emphasis on Māori chant. Although now living in Wellington, her music in inspired and influenced by her Māori ancestry and the dramatic landscape of Te Waipounamu – The South Island of New Zealand…

Cover image










‘Ko te tatai whetu’ is a concerto for Taonga Puoro and orchestra by composer Phil Brownlee, the result of a collaboration with Ariana…



A 2013 Music 101 interview with Ariana on taking inspiration from the writing of her tupuna, and her recent sojourn in France.


Cover/text sourced from Bandcamp.
Profile courtesy of
Concerto for Taonga Puoro courtesy of RNZ. Interview courtesy of RNZ.
Used with permission.

Last edited: 18.06.18

From AudioCulture

Ariana Tikao composes and performs music in Te Reo Māori and English, in a wide variety of settings. She draws on folk and pop, with a strong emphasis on Māori chant, and her music is inspired and influenced by her Māori ancestry and the landscape of Te Waipounamu: the South Island. Besides releasing albums of her own music (From Dust to Light, Tuia and Whaea), she has taken part in projects such as John Psathas’s No Man’s Land (as singer), Kenneth Young’s In Paradisum with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (as singer and taonga puoro player), and the Ihimaera album. With Philip Brownlee, Ariana co-composed the first concerto for taonga puoro, Ko te tātai whetū; she also performed in the premiere with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. On 22 February 2012 she sang ‘Whakaaria Mai’ at the Christchurch Earthquake Memorial event in Hagley Park, which was televised internationally. Ariana’s music career began in Christchurch in 1993 with the folk duo Pounamu. Read moreProfile from Audioculture, available under a Attribution Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand Licence

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