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Kiko Releases Te Reo Maori Music Video


Thursday, September 13 - A music video, performed entirely in Te Reo Maori, features on NZ On Air’s NewTracks releases for September.

The song, called Nga Hau E Wha, by Auckland blues-rock band KIKO, was one of 28 songs selected from 60 submitted to NewTracks, promoting new songs released by New Zealand artists.

It was also the only song on the list performed entirely in Te Reo Maori and it’s timely given it’s also Maori Language Week where the theme is “Kia Kaha Te Reo Maori”.

It’s something the musicians in the band hope will resonate with people.

The video was released by Waateamusic and was funded by Te Mangai Paho. It marks a milestone for the band, which formed just over a year ago, and released its first single, Patupaiarehe, during Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori in 2017.

KIKO is a Maori band comprised of Rewi McLay, Kara Gordon, Lucas Wharekura, Phillip Peters and Windon Bradfield.
Guitars feature prominently in Nga Hau E Wha and it’s something of a trademark for the band, which lead singer/songwriter and guitarist Rewi McLay is proud of.

Mclay’s favourite artists include Jimmy Hendricks, Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, The Doors and Santana. The other musicians in the band also have their own influences but together, KIKO is very much a “guitar-led” band.

“Guitars have been a prominent fixture in Maori songs for the past 50 years so we are continuing that on. But it’s also hard to define our sound, it’s definitely a fusion of many genres into one,” McLay said.

Last year, shortly after the band was launched, the members said they wanted Te Reo Maori to feature highly in their songs, albums and projects in 2018.

“Te Reo Maori has been a big part of my life. None of the other band members speak Maori so this is a good way to encourage others to learn and use it too,” McLay said.


All of the band members have either worked together on other projects or knew one another from other bands. McLay is also from Harvey Knows A Killer. He writes the lyrics for KIKO songs but everyone has a say in song structure.

Kara Gordon was the lead guitarist in Fly My Pretty’s and front man for The Wreckage and The Triptonites.

He opened for acts such as Slash, Deep Purple, Elton John, and Black Sabbath to name a few.

Lucas Wharewaka is the lead guitarist and front man for Strangely Arousing.

Nathan Judd plays a key role as the producer of the band who can be quite influential in what the finished product sounds like.

“We’ve all come from different backgrounds but we have all been immersed in the rock/blues scene and have similar connections in the music industry.”

KIKO plans to release an EP, featuring more Te Reo Maori songs and an English EP will follow later this year.

The band is keen to tour the songs around New Zealand later on.


Music video: Nga Hau E Wha
Apple music:

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