19 Aug 2022
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Moana And The Tribe - Moana and The Tribe Newsletter Interview

03 Oct 2014 // An interview by Shade

New Zealand band Moana & the Tribe defy easy definition as their music slips and slides across genre ‘creating dub-ambient-soul-funk from nowhere else but right here, right now.’

Moana & the Tribe stand out as one of the most significant voices in Maori music. Thanks to the band for answering the following questions:

Which one of your songs are you most proud of, and why?

Off Rima, I’m most proud of Water People because Paddy and I threw everything at it – moteatea, karakia, haka, bagpipes, marching drums – the works. I wrote this for the Boomerang Project, a big collaboration of musicians from Scotland, NZ and Australia – 21 of us onstage at the Sydney Opera House, WOMAD NZ and at Glasgow 2014. Songman Djakapurra performs vocals on V2. So when I hear it, I see the dancers in my head and the fiddle, bagpipes. It’s an emotional moment for me when the haka comes in because our father died while we were touring Scotland so I also feel all the aroha my band and the others gave to us. The lyrics are about indigenous peoples coming together – and we did.

What is the one thing you want NZ to know about Moana & The Tribe?

Our band can’t be categorized into a particular genre but we’ve slotted easily into big reggae, rock, jazz and world music festivals around the world and gone down really well. Looking forward to the day when NZ promoters finally click.

How would you describe Moana & The Tribe's music in one sentence?

Kaupapa-driven haka-dub-funk NZ roots music with soul.

What sets you apart from other bands?

We are an 8-piece band playing songs proudly and defiantly inspired by our cultural identity, with lyrics that reflect what my passions as an indigenous person, a mother, NZer. We mix up musical genre, haka, taonga puoro etc into a set that has taken us onto big stages at reggae, rock, jazz and world music festivals. That’s what makes us different from every other NZ band. That’s what makes us a band with a difference offshore. 

What rumour would you like to start about Moana & The Tribe?

Did you hear the one about Pharrell approaching us to do a remix of Whole Worlds Watching?

 

About Moana And The Tribe

New Zealand band Moana & the Tribe defy easy definition as their music slips and slides across genre ‘creating dub-ambient-soul-funk from nowhere else but right here, right now.’

One of the most distinctive, articulate and significant voices and long acknowledged for having consistently pushed the boundaries of Māori music in both her recordings and live performances, singer/songwriter Moana Maniapoto (Ngati Tuwharetoa /Tuhourangi /Ngati Pikiaao) who - first with Moana and the Moahunters and latterly as Moana & the Tribe - has taken her often politically conscious music to festivals across the world.

She paid her way through law school by singing in covers bands, took her version of the feminist soul song Black Pearl with her band Moana & the Moahunters onto the charts in 1990. Moana has articulated a Maori perspective of colonisation in memorable songs (not the least in the powerful song Treaty) and has effectively incorporated taonga puoro (traditional instruments) into music which refers to rock, soul, classical and reggae - but always sounds solely like Moana-music.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Moana And The Tribe

Releases

Rima
Year: 2014
Type: Album
The Best Of Moana and The Tribe
Year: 2012
Type: Album
Acoustic
Year: 2010
Type: Album
Wha
Year: 2008
Type: Album
Toru
Year: 2003
Type: Album
Live And Proud
Year: 2003
Type: DVD
Rua
Year: 1998
Type: Album
Tahi
Year: 1993
Type: Album

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