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Te Reo Māori song tops student radio charts

Te Reo Māori song tops student radio charts

A single by Auckland-based electronic group SoccerPractise, sung entirely in Te Reo Māori, has reached number one on student radio charts in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin within a few weeks of its release.

The group’s latest single ‘Amene’ is a synth and garage guitar-laden work which references the traditional waiata ‘Piriponotia’ by Māori songwriter Morvin Simon.

The success of a Te Reo Māori song on charts usually dominated by the English language was particularly pleasing for the group.

“We find reo Māori an incredibly beautiful and versatile language for creating music,” says guitarist Leo Horgan, “it’s been very satisfying to see audiences here be instantly positive and accepting of music sung in Māori- especially considering the dominance of English language music in the alternative scene in Aotearoa.”

Released independently and distributed through DRM NZ, ‘Amene’ achieved the number one position on radio charts on bFM, Radioactive, RDU and Radio One after its une 15th release.

“We write and perform music in both English and Te Reo Māori,” says Horgan, “as a bi-cultural group we have always found the use of both languages natural and fitting for our musical vision.”

The group have previously seen success with their Māori-language songs, with their previous single ‘Haere Mai E Tama’ spending 16 weeks in the Radio One top ten in Dunedin, becoming the most played and requested song on the station in 2016.

“SoccerPractise are influenced by many sounds and genres, including the ‘Dunedin sound’”, says Horgan, “so it’s great that people are responding to our music as much in the south as they are in Tāmaki Makaurau.

“Our lead singer, Geneva Alexander-Marsters, was actually approached after a Dunedin show by a crying fan who said she wanted to thank her for keeping her connected to her Māori identity. Those kinds of experiences are really special for us.”

SoccerPractise’s debut release is due in early September. The group will be performing at OneFest in Dunedin on Wednesday the 12th of July.


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