20 Jun 2018

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Rei - EP Review: Rangatira

03 May 2018 // A review by ShelleySketch
Rei has recently released his new EP, Rangatira, which combines the Māori language with the hip-hop/RnB genre. This combination will help bring Te Reo to a more mainstream audience. Te Reo has always had a bit of a presence in the music industry but more and more artists seem to be determined to bring it to the forefront.

These five tracks all have different musical elements and Rei jumps between his smooth singing voice and strong rap verses, or a combination of the two.

Kia Tau (settle down/relax) is a faster track and Rei even pushes his vocals a bit higher. It sounds a bit auto tuned during the higher note but itís not out of place. The video that was released to accompany this track depicts Rei doing his thing at the beach. The video occasionally splits into two screens, but it does reflect the title as the beach scene is relaxing. Raparapa (to seek) is more of a slow acoustic track that builds with the addition of bass and finger snaps. But it still sounds smooth even with those elements thrown in.

The title track, Rangatira, (chief/elder) has a dance/EDM-like vibe to it. E Ki (an expression of surprise or anger) is a smooth track for which a video was released for recently. Like the Kia Tau video, it is a simple video of Rei doing his thing. This time he is on a bridge over the motorway. This video didnít feel as light and seemed to have a bit more attitude to it.

The final track, Hekenga (to migrate/voyage) ties off the album well with haka-like elements thrown in. There are ďhe-ha!Ē chants as well as the sound of a pūtātara (conch shell trumpet) at the end.

Rei had some Te Reo assistance from fellow NZ musician Teeks and they have done a great job with something that could be considered quite delicate.

Also, I have to mention the beautiful cover art. It looks like a woven tukutuku panel. The colours are a simple dark brown/black and white, with the title Rangatira and an image of a Huia feather, similar to the ponuamu worn around his neck. The Huia feather is used as somewhat of a logo for Rei and his music.

Rei has done an incredible job and whether youíre fluent or not, or just appreciate the language, it is worth checking out.

★★★★★ (5 stars)

Review written by Shelley Te Haara

About Rei

Chief, Rangatira, Fair-skinned, RapperÖ we all have our definitions of ourselves and those that are given to us. Reiʻs album A Place To Stand is a personal and universal. Itʻs beautifully produced with content that rides the line between reverse colonisation, inspiration, hip-hop, culture and a passion to make a dope album.

If Rei is an example of upcoming Kiwi artists, the future looks bright. From creating music the last 10 years to present his multi genre sound, Rei is definitely on the cutting edge, and is influenced by our global music community. Mostly by the UK House/Garage style, by Hip hop from major US rappers but, his album has the extra elements of Māori language, haka and kiwi slang, making the sum of A Place to Stand a smoothly produced audio experience. It also sounds BIG in a stadium or club setting.

Already releasing a number of tracks from this album, A Place To Stand includes beauties like Mix an electro acoustic ballad (with Rei on guitar), a lot of club bangers such as Hāti and Deep and a few not-so- cheesy love songs like Basics.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Rei


Year: 2018
Type: EP
A Place To Stand
Year: 2017
Type: Album

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