A new te reo Māori album has been released and it’s already reached the top of the NZ iTunes charts.

The album, Te Kākano, is a compilation of waiata sung by four artists; Pere Wihongi, Mere-Arihi Pipi-Takoko, Makaira Berry and Hamiora Tuari. On its release it reached No. 1 on the New Zealand iTunes albums list, much to the shock of its vocalists.

“Ohorere katoa ahau i taku kitenga atu i tuatahi mātou i runga o iTunes mō tā mātou kōpae,” hei tā Pipi-Takoko.

“I te kaha titiro ahau ki taku wāea, ‘ohh kua tuarua kē mātou ki runga i ngā mea’. Kāre anō kia ono haora mai i te putanga o te kōpae, ohorere pai, engari miharo.”

“This is my first time in this ao,” says Tuari, “so I’ve been really blown away from the response that we've got.”

Pipi-Takoko says the album was produced to promote te reo Māori and inspire rangatahi. 

“He kohinga waiata e āhei ai te hiki i te mauri o te reo Māori, ka mutu, ko tā mātou hiahia kia akiaki i te rangatahi Māori kia kaha ake tā rātou reo, kia kaha te whakamahi i tō rātou reo.”

The album is made up of solos, duets and group singles. Of his own single, Taku Puiaki, Tuari explains its hidden meaning.

“That talks about my love for music and how much I love it. We've personified it to almost look like that I'm talking to a girl or something, and giving each description of that person or thing, giving the meaning of how I feel about music.”

The album is available for download on Spotify, iTunes and Google Play.

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