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Songs From the Inside Returns for a New Series on Maori TV

Songs From the Inside Returns for a New Series on Maori Television

SONGS FROM THE INSIDE returns to Maori Television next week with leading New Zealand musicians Don McGlashan, Laughton Kora and Annie Crummer joining Anika Moa behind prison walls.

Premiering on Friday, February 21 at 9.30pm, season two shifts from Wellington to Auckland prisons in Paremoremo and Manukau where 12 prisoners – six men and six women - are taught to write, sing and record their own songs.

“They had to fight their demons to be part of this,” said Anika Moa. “They had to overcome years of distrust and self-loathing. They had to be willing to face public judgement again.”

Across 10 episodes of SONGS FROM THE INSIDE, prisoners take part in an intense music programme that motivates honest song writing. Their songs are revealed in a finale one-hour special.

Students were aged between 25 and 50, Pakeha, Pacific Island and Maori. From the Elvis impersonator who committed aggravated robbery to the wife who defrauded her in-laws; the boy raised in a car by his dad to the upstanding school mum convicted of drug dealing, every story is as diverse as the unfolding songs.

Cheryl Mikaere, prison manager at Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility, said the opportunity to take part in the series was something she couldn’t pass up.

“For too long we would lock our women up and be accused of throwing away the key – that didn’t work.

“They’ve had so many doors closed in their faces and if we continue to do that while they’re with us there’s no reason for change, no reason to dream, no reason to believe.”

The first series received a special commendation from New Zealand Parliament. It was accepted at festivals and symposiums from Asia to South America and studied at the University of Hawaii.

Annie Crummer said SONGS FROM THE INSIDE was the most important project she has ever worked on.

“My intentions going into this programme were to give, give, give. The result of giving came back to me. I ended up being the one learning.”

Funded by Te Mangai Paho, NZ On Air and Maori Television, series two of SONGS FROM THE INSIDE premieres on Friday, February 21 at 9.30pm. It will also be available online and repeated every Monday at 9.30pm.


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