Troy Kingi confirms Matariki release for reo Māori album

Troy Kingi has revealed that the reo Māori version of his third album Holy Colony Burning Acres will be released by Matariki.

The announcement comes after the artist was named as the 2021 APRA Silver Scroll Award/Kaitito Kaiaka winner for his waiata All Your Ships Have Sailed on Thursday night.

Troy Kingi (Te Arawa, Ngāpuhi, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui) started working on the new version of Holy Colony Burning Acres while part of the Matairangi Mahi Toi Artist Residency programme at Government House in 2020.

He worked alongside Komene Cassidy and Paulette Tamati-Elliffeon on translations.

Whenua Hautapu Eka Mumura is the album’s reo Māori title, which he shared with 1News on Friday, along with the Matariki release date.

Kingi said it took a bit to do the Māori version, because translating directly from English to te reo Māori doesn’t really make sense.

“You have to bring the words, and what you’re saying, into a Māori world view. We spent a whole five days together just in wānanga to work it out.”

But, he said te reo Māori had taken the songs and their meanings to a deeper level.

“It’s just got so much more depth, the kupu just mean a lot more now, I almost don’t even want to perform it in English anymore.”

This particular album was chosen by Kingi to be translated because of its political kaupapa, and its focus on issues facing indigenous peoples all around the world.

“Of all the albums that I've done and that I'm about to do, it just goes hand in hand.”

There were still a few things being finalised on the album, but Kingi confirmed it would be out in time for Matariki, te tau hou Māori, around June 2022.

On Thursday night, the artist took out the top award at the 2021 APRA Silver Scrolls for his song All Your Ships Have Sailed from his fourth album The Ghost of Freddie Cesar. It’s the third time he'd been a finalist for the award.

The 2021 award ceremony was postponed three times, before it was taken online in 2022.

Though extremely honoured to have received the award, Kingi said the real highlight for the night was the surprise performance by Deva Mahal and a group of nine wāhine of his song, All Your Ships Have Sailed, which he didn't know was happening.

“I had a few tears. Just to know that that was my song, and she took it to the next level.

“It’s cool to know I can watch that for the rest of my life. Especially when I’m feeling down in the dumps and am a bit lost creatively, it's inspirational.”

He said the fact he, Maisey Rika and Tipene were among the five finalists for the Silver Scroll was a good sign for Māori music.

“It kinda shows you where we are at as a nation and how far Māori music has come."

Maisey Rika (Te Whānau-a-Apanui) and Seth Haapu (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Atihaunui a Pāpārangi) were awarded the Maioha Award for the song 'Waitī Waitā' from Rika's album Ngā Mata o te Ariki Tāwhirimatea.

Tipene was also a finalist for a Silver Scroll for his song Turangawaewae, which features Rika and Kingi.