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2022 APRA Maioha Award shortlist announced

Story Published Thursday 8 September 2022

The APRA Maioha Award recognises the art of contemporary Māori songwriting and honours composers who are telling their stories in the language of Te Ao Māori.

  • E Hine Ē written by Em-Haley Walker, performed by TE KAAHU
  • Rangatira/Owner written and performed by Ria Hall translated by Teraania Ormsby (published by LOOP Publishing Limited/Kobalt Music Publishing)
  • Te Iho written by Aja Ropata, Byllie-Jean, Chris Wethey, performed by AJA & Byllie-Jean

Em-Haley Walker AKA Theia (Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Tīpa) has made the shortlist for her dreamy waiata ‘E Hine Ē’. This was the second single to emerge from reo Māori project TE KAAHU and is the second track on debut album Te Kaahu O Rangi which has also landed Walker as a finalist at the Waiata Māori Music Awards (Best Reo Māori Album) and Rolling Stone Awards (Best New Artist). ‘E Hine Ē’ was written and produced by Walker and elevates the beautiful wāhine in our lives. Watch the official video here filmed by Frances Carter.

Award-winning bilingual songwriter, performer and composer Ria Hall (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Te Whānau ā Apanui, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Tuwharetoa) has been selected as a finalist for her waiata ‘Rangatira’. Released as part of LOOP’s waiata Māori compilation Kono 003, ‘Rangatira’ is the reo Māori translation of political anthem ‘Owner’ from Ria Hall’s album Manawa Wera. Ria’s soulful melodies are strong against beat-driven reggae while unapologetic about the difference between Western and indigenous worldviews. Watch the official lyric video here.

Compelling R&B waiata ‘Te Iho’ makes the shortlist written by Aja Ropata (Te Āti Awa ki Whakarongotai, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Raukawa), Byllie-Jean (Ngāti Pahauwera, Ngāti Whatuiapiti, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga), and Christchurch-based songwriter/producer Chris Wethey. ‘Te Iho’ praises the essence of powerful wāhine Māori, using poetic language to express the importance of women. Performed by Aja and Byllie-Jean, ‘Te Iho’ is a potent waiata about whakapapa and the DNA passed down from atua wāhine.

The Maioha Top 5 finalists were selected by a curated panel of songwriters and industry figures. This Top 5 was presented to the Aotearoa APRA membership whose votes helped determine the above shortlist and overall winner.

All awards will be presented at the 2022 APRA Silver Scroll Awards | Kaitito Kaiaka at Spark Arena October 18th.

With thanks to NZ On Air, Te Māngai Pāho, and Hallertau.