Neo-soul artist Mohi’s new bilingual album merges his love for Māori storytelling and music – Te Ao Māori News

todayOctober 30, 2023 14

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Māori neo-soul artist Mohi Allen (Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngāi Te Rangi and Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa) is getting the summer vibes going with the recent release of his bilingual album Elements of Aroha.

It’s a blend of Māori storytelling and his music tastes that he hopes will push Māori music and te reo Māori into “sonic waters”.

Talking about the reasoning behind the album, Allen says, “Firstly, to continue to champion and whakatairanga (promote) our reo, is really important to me. But with bilingual music, reaching new audiences – audiences that may not necessarily be [reo] speakers but may be interested in our language and culture.

“I believe waiata is a beautiful avenue to gain insight into the beauty of our culture and language.”

As the album suggests, the 2023 Apra Maioha award winner hopes listeners will fall in love with each of the haerenga (journeys) told in each of the eight tracks.

“I’m hoping that when the whānau listen they can resonate with the different types of feelings, that they connect to the emotions that are portrayed, and, ultimately, that they’ll keep jamming it through the summer.”

Allen recently returned from a showcase in Sydney for New Zealand artists, where his aspirations for taking his music internationally could soon be a reality.

“That was a real good insight into where Māori music can take an artist, can take me.

“The hope for this album is to take reo Māori worldwide, and to perform alongside the big names like Burna Boy, even our K-pop whānau because Māori music can do that, it’s only a matter of time.”

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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