About this artist...

Decade(s) active:

We say:

Tuhia te hā o te reo Māori ki te rangi, e kaha ai te mapu o te manawa ora, e rekareka ai te taringa whakarongo, e waiwai ai te karu mātakitaki

Let the Maori language be heard on the airwaves. Thereby causing the heart to leap with joy, the ear to appreciate it’s eloquence and the eyes to moisten at its impact.

WAI are a five piece maori electronica roots band based in Porirua – Wellington, Aotearoa.

It has always been their dream to create new and innovative music that sounds like where it originates from and take it to the world. WAI perform entirely in the Maori language and utilize a Maori style of presenting their music not only in the structure and fusion of their music but also in the delivery of their show.

In the year 2000 the group released their first album WAI – 100%. In 2010 they released their second album WAI –

WAI have created Maori Electronica Roots World Music from traditional Maori song structures fused with electronica. They incorporate mono tonal vocal constructions, organic natural beats and rhythms (human breaths, insect and bird sounds), indigenous percussion (poi), and action sounds (body slaps, foot stamping and hand clapping) with contemporary jungle, funk, reggae, hip-hop and deep house grooves.

WAI has shown that the Maori music tradition is universal and has a rightful place not only in New Zealand music, but also in world music. WAI has also shown that despite the language of the lyrics, Maori music can be enjoyed and appreciated by people the world over.

Totally unlike anything heard before, anywhere in the world, WAI is a breathtaking and inspirational expression of original Maori Waiata (music) performed in Te Reo Maori (language).

WAI is refreshing music, flowing with emotion, rich with soulful melodies, beating with complex rhythms. Music of such spirit can only come from profound personal events.

Last edited: 12.04.16

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Albums by this artist

From the Blog:

From DigitalNZ:

  • View on NZ On Screen AEIOU

    Source: NZ On Screen

    Resource type: Soul ; Te Reo ; Music Video

    "This was the first music video funded by New Zealand on Air. The song is a colourful plea for Māori youth to preserve their culture by learning the reo — it also doubles as a handy guide to Māori pronunciation. Director Kerry Brown created vibrant animated backgrounds to match the song’s hip-hop beats. The cameo appearances include Moana Maniapoto’s father, MC OJ and the Rhythm Slave, Mika and various crew members. The Moahunters were Mina Ripia (who went on to her own act Wai) and Teremoana Rapley (from Upper Hutt Posse, who went on to manage King Kapisi)." (NZ On Screen summary)

  • View on NZ On Screen Southside of Bombay

    Source: NZ On Screen

    "Wellington reggae act formed in 1989 taking a name proudly reflecting their origins from outside of Auckland. Ian Morris produced their catchy debut single ‘What’s The Time Mr Wolf’ which drew on imagery from vocalist Ruia Aperahama’s Ratana faith. It made little impact until its inclusion in Once Were Warriors catapulted it into the Top 5. Their debut album won Best Māori Album at the 1993 NZ Music Awards. Aperahama and his brother Ranea have recorded two albums of Bob Marley songs in te reo while drummer Maaka McGregor formed Wai 100% with Mina Ripia." (NZ On Screen summary)

  • View on NZ On Screen The Living Room - Series One (excerpts)

    Source: NZ On Screen

    Resource type: Documentary ; Magazine ; Arts/Culture ; Lifestyle ; Television

    "A magazine show with an edge, The Living Room did for arts television production what Radio With Pictures did for NZ music — it ripped open the venetian blinds, rearranged the plastic-covered cushions, and shone the sun on Aotearoa’s homegrown creative culture. Often letting the subjects film and present their own stories, it was produced for three series by Wellington’s Sticky Pictures, who also made follow-up arts showcase The Gravy. These excerpts from the first series show a calvacade of local talent, including an early Flight of the Conchords screen outing." (NZ On Screen summary)


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