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Award-winning rapper connects with his roots by translating songs into Te Reo Māori

Award-winning rapper Melodownz has become an urban poet, telling the stories of his hardships and shedding a light on his cultural upbringing through music.

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Bronson Price has discovered his whakapapa. Source: Seven Sharp

Now he's been given the opportunity to translate his well known song Fine in to Te Reo Māori, leading to a life changing family discovery he knew nothing about.

Bronson Price, AKA Melodownz, is a house-hold name with young people in Aotearoa.

He flicks out rhymes quicker than his smooth melodies and jumps in and out of reggae, hip hop and soul.

Also keeping him busy – he’s dipped his fingers into the culinary arts and whipped up his own special hot sauce, Melo’s Not So Melo Hot Sauce.

He even has his own web series featuring special guests and aims to put his home suburb of Avondale, in Auckland, on the world stage.

Despite his success, the urban poet has always felt something was missing.

Raised predominantly by his Samoan mum, he never really knew the full extent of his whakapapa or lineage, until now.

"All I knew was that my grandfather was from Kaikohe. It feels buzzy calling this place home 'cause I’ve never been here but it's real powerful for me,” he told Seven Sharp.

“I had been disconnected for so long, like that missing piece, that piece of the puzzle just got put in place – it’s almost like my soul's been waiting this whole lifetime to find out where I belong.”

Price shares his story on a new documentary series - Waiata Anthems, which follows iconic musical artists from Aotearoa as they translate their songs into Te Reo Māori.

“I’m not fluent and stuff but I was like man I’m contributing to keeping this reo alive and I think that’s the main intention for this whole project,” he says.

“I encourage anyone who feels a bit lost with their identity or culture to ask questions or try your hardest to try research where you are from and when you get there, you’ll know the feeling.”