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Singer Khalid Inspired by Māori Traditional Ceremony

Singer Khalid Inspired by Māori Traditional Ceremony & Uses Te Reo on His Social Media Accounts to Show Gratitude

Khalid, the 19-year-old singer/songwriter from El Paso, Texas, finished his Australasian tour in Aotearoa - New Zealand on the 12th of November, 2017 with a sold out show at Spark Arena.

Auckland-based Māori kapa haka group kaiHaka felt privileged to welcome the melodious artist on his first visit to NZ in support of his platinum debut solo album, American Teen, featuring hit songs Location and Young, Dumb and Broke.

In an intense and spiritual ceremony Khalid was welcomed to the area by a group made up of young Māori fans of his music. His response after the ceremony on social media was immediate and far-reaching.

Khalid used te reo Māori on his social media channels saying, “Kia Ora Whanau. Thank you, Aotearoa.” Pictures of Khalid doing a hongi with Juliet Grant from kaiHaka and posing with Eruera after the ceremony went viral on Twitter and Instagram with over 200,000 likes in less than 24 hours and more than a thousand comments.

“Our kaupapa (mission) is to uphold our core Māori values of manaakitanga (hospitality), whanaungatanga (family values) and kotahitanga (unity),” said kaiHaka leader Eruera Rarere-Wilton. “We take pride in welcoming esteemed guests to Auckland as our group is made up of descendants from the tribes of this area. We welcome visitors in the ways of our tupuna (ancestors) with Haka Powhiri (welcome ceremonies) to give guests on an unforgettable experience that they take with them when they return home.”

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As is customary, kaiHaka welcomed Khalid with a wero (challenge performed by Warriors), mihi (speech of welcome), waiata (songs) and haka. Khalid responded with his own speech thanking the group and noting how moved he was by the ceremony. “Thank you guys for sharing a piece of your culture with me and making me feel like I’m at home as well. It’s beautiful. I’ve never seen anything like this.” Following with Māori protocol, he supported his speech by singing the first verse of his song Saved.

Khalid was gifted a hand-made purerehua (bull roarer - traditional Māori wind instrument) from kaiHaka made especially for him that it is hoped may feature in his future songs.

Khalid posted images from the Spark Arena performance calling it “a dream come true.” He had this final message for his fans, “Thank you guys, for moments I’ll never forget. This tour was magical.”


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