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Mai Publishing Signs Maori Language Recording Star

Te 3 o nga ra o Whiringa-a-nuku 2003


One of the few active music publishers in New Zealand signs a major deal with international Maori language recording artist Whirimako Black today (3/10).

Mai Publishing - a division of Ngati Whatua-owned Mai Media Limited - will administer singer-songwriter Whirimako Black's entire repertoire including all past and future recordings.

Mai Media Limited managing director Graham Pryor says the company is honoured to administer the songs of one of the pre-eminent contemporary Maori language musicians of our time.

The talented Auckland-based artist - who is affiliated to Ngai Tuhoe, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Ranginui, Kahungunu, Te Whakatohea, Te Whanau-a-Apanui, Te Arawa and Ngati Awa - won Best Maori Language Album at the New Zealand Music Awards for her debut album 'Hinepukohurangi: Shrouded in the Mist' and also sung on the international recording project, 1 Giant Leap.

Her second album, 'Hohou Te Rongo: Cultivate Peace', draws from a decade's worth of songwriting by Whirimako Black herself as well as songs penned with and by family members and friends. Performance styles range from solo songs with only acoustic guitar accompaniment to tracks augmented with percussion and traditional instruments, and even a full band reggae track written with David Grace - one of the few songs on this album sung in English.

Other musical achievements include composing and singing the titles for the acclaimed TVNZ series, 'The New Zealand Wars', as well as composing with Hori Tait the initial title music for the Maori news programme, Koha.

Mai Publishing was established in July 2001 and specialises in urban, hip hop and R'n'B as well as traditional and contemporary Maori and Pacific music.

The company signed a deal last year with Mushroom Music for administration of its catalogue worldwide. Writers include New Zealand's leading jingle and commercial producer, Dave Bridgman, and Jamey Ferguson from Hamilton reggae sensation Katchafire as well as Mai Music's artist roster.

Mai Media Limited also operates three radio stations - Mai FM 88.6 in Auckland, Mai FM 96.7 in Rotorua and Mai FM 97.8 in Northland - as well as the record label Mai Music and the national Maori language radio service, Ruia Mai.


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