Young rising star Pounamu Wharehinga is the latest music artist from Te Tai Rāwhiti.

Known as Miss Pou, the 15-year-old says she is set to release her first ever EP all in te reo Māori.

“I tipu mai te hiahia ki roto i ahau ki te mahi i tēnei kōpae, nā runga i tōku kaingākautanga mō te ao pūoro.”

She also says that it was the music world that took care of her.

“Ko Rob Ruha tētahi, Maisey Rika,Tama Waipara, Frank Kora hoki. Nā rātou anō ahau i āwhina i toku tū, te whakarite i tōku tinana.”

The music veterans also gave her some sound advice.

“Ko ō rātou kōrero ki ahau i ngā wā katoa kia noho pono ki a koe anō, kia harikoa i ngā wā katoa nō te mea e kore rawa koe e taea ki te tutuki i ō moemoea mēnā kāore koe i te mahi i runga i te harikoa.”

Her EP 'Ahakoa Iti' showcases three songs, a tribute to those passed on, being in tune with our emotions and the connection Māori have to the stars.

One of the songs is a farewell song dedicated to the late haka exponent Dr Ngāpo Wehi which she composed, She says it was a significant time for her.

Despite her tender age, Wharehinga composed and released her first song when she was 9-years-old.

The song was about the government and confiscation of land. She says composing songs is another way to raise issues that affect her and Māoridom.

“Ko te manako ia, ma aku waiata, toku reo rangatahi e whakaapaho ki te ao, ki ngā tāngata Māori rawa atu. Nō te mea kua roa nei te wā mātou e noho ki raro i te maru o ērā o ngā tangata o te kāwanatanga me ngā momo ahuatanga kei te heipū ki te whenua ki te tangata Māori hoki.”

Wharehinga says she hopes one day to entertain people around the world.

Her new EP will be released on Saturday morning.

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