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Announcing Moana Songwriting Sessions curated by Bharu, SFT and Frank Keys

Story Published Tuesday 18 April 2023

Introducing APRA Moana Songwriting Sessions, an exciting new initiative by APRA AMCOS that provides a dedicated space for songwriters and producers to come together and form new connections within the Pasifika community. This unique event serves as a mini songwriting camp, inspiring artists to explore their identity and find innovative ways to champion their culture through music.

Moana Songwriting Sessions will be held at Big Pop Studios, Auckland May 29th - 31st and wil be curated by highly regarded songwriters/producers Brandon Haru, Frank Eliesa (Frank Keys), and Saia Tu'itahi (SFT). During the three days, participants will have the opportunity to collaborate with the curators and fellow songwriters, not only honing their skills but also building lasting connections within the Pasifika music community.

How will the songwriting sessions run?

Six participants selected by the curators will participate in three days of collaborative songwriting at Big Pop Studios May 29th - 31st.

Each day beginning at 09:30am all Moana participants will arrive to the studios, connect with fellow songwriters, and the curators will announce the room configurations. Each studio will consist of 1 lead songwriter, 1 co-writer, and 1 producer/curator (Brandon, Saia, or Frank).

Writing begins at 10:00am and all participants are encouraged to create 1 new song each day putting their culture at the core of the creative process. The day wraps up at 05:00pm and ends with a debrief and listening session. There will be a special wrap event on the final night after the listening session.

Applications are now open to APRA members and close Tuesday 2nd May at 5pm.

Songwriters are encouraged to apply, regardless of their career stage, genre, or co-writing experience. If you're interested in a unique collaborative songwriting opportunity to explore and champion your identity, apply now!




Brandon Haru is a multi-instrumentalist and award-winning producer for the likes of Ladi6, Valkyrie, @peace and Niko Walters. Brandon explores and experiments with new forms of musical expression, always looking to the essence of his cultural roots. Brandon's talent has been recognised globally, with US production legend Timbaland singing praises of the New Zealand producer.


Frank Eliesa, also known by his professional name Frank Keys, is a New Zealand Samoan record producer, songwriter and performer. He has worked with numerous award-winning artists and musicians in New Zealand, including Avantdale Bowling Club, CHAII, LADI6, Melodownz, P-Money, SWIDT and Yoko-Zuna. His music has been featured in various syncs in TV shows, films, gaming, and other media, including Ms. Marvel, Inventing Anna, and the F1 and FIFA games, among others.


Saia Tu'itahi is a hip hop producer/beat maker who has worked with the likes of Bailey Wiley, Melodownz, Diggy Dupé and Tom Scott amongst others. With years of experience in honing his craft Saia has been able to release multiple projects as a solo artist and also with several groups. More recently Saia has turned his focus towards the art and music of his cultural heritage of Tonga focussing on making and performing the fangufangu, Tongan nose flute.