21 Mar 2023
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Riqi Harawira - Single/Video Review: E Rere Ai (Fly Away)

06 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

E rere ai is a song which originally came from a poem written by Riqi and his partner Floss (who appears in the video) which touches on love, hopes, and dreams. They are a Maori/Pakeha blended couple deeply in love with each other, with the idea of an equal union formed in Aroha (love) and respect even though they are from different cultures and backgrounds. Performed with a full band, musically this is a soft rock number with some pop elements where Riqi is often strumming his guitar, and there are some nice lengthy organ chords which provide a backdrop. It feels quite American late Seventies in its approach, and the guitar solo near the end is perfectly formed while there is enough variety and occasional bite within which lifts it out of the norm and makes it incredibly enjoyable. Riqi has a nice balanced tone to his voice, easily switching between English and Te Reo, and the overall result is something which is deep yet light, immediate with depth.

The lyrics are incredibly important, and this message is strengthened with the video which for the most part is Riqi and Floss in the landscape, their love for each other shining in their eyes. One of the most poignant moments is when Riqi and another are performing a traditional dance and right in the middle is Floss, doing her own thing. It is not disrespect, but rather the bringing together of two cultures and acceptance of each other. If possible, watch the video, as it really does bring home what the song is all about, while at the very end there is a message saying how the Waiata is dedicated to interracial couples who have the courage to embrace each other, who understand the cultural differences, racial disparities, inequities, cultural history of violence and trauma. Despite these differences develop a respect and love for each other to counter racial prejudice, systemic racism, and the oppression of specific racial groups.

A powerful message, all wrapped in a very enjoyable song and lovely video.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Riqi Harawira

Riqi Harawira (Te Aupouri, Ngapuhi) has shared stages with some of the world’s biggest acts, Guns n Roses and Pearl Jam to name a few. The former lead guitarist and co-songwriter for popular 90’s grunge band Dead Flowers. He has collaborated with numerous Kiwi artists across his career such as Kings, Stellar*, DLT, Che Fu and Dam Native. Riqi Harawira is a Maori fusion artist and a guitar virtuoso who is passionate about telling stories about Aotearoa through his original music.

Riqi is a lover of guitar and passionate about playing it. A multi-instrumentalist, Riqi frequently melds te reo Maori and English with rock and grunge music, dabbling with covers of Jimi Hendrix, Tama Renata, Joe Satriani and performing the NZ national anthem and the Last Post with the healing voice of his guitar he calls Mareikura (named after a Ngati Kahungunu princess).

Immersed in music from a young age, his father, Rangi Hadfield (Rangi Harawira) was an international Maori entertainer who performed in over 65 countries and who taught Riqi the guitar.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Riqi Harawira

Releases

Mauri
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Sound of the Long White Cloud
Year: 2016
Type: Album

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