9 Jun 2023

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Tia Ward - Single Review: Ko Wai Ahau

18 Nov 2022 // A review by Jack Grabham


Taranaki, Ngati Maniapoto has given us the bewitching sound of Tia Ward. This young artist, nearing the end of her third year at Massey's music school, looks to have the goods already. With the kupu Ko Wai Ahau given to Tia by Tuhoe poet Matiu Tahi, Tia worked on the instrumentation with Toby Lloyd, who also engineered and mixed at Tiny Triumph Recordings. Chris Chetland mastered at KOG.

The melody is sweet and light. Orchestration is laid back, complete but not cluttered, and instruments wisely chosen and well positioned. Great instrumental mix.

The stat turn of this single, however, is the vocal. With a nicely places harmony section in all the right places, Tia's lead vocal is exquisite. I myself come from a traditionally tribal people, although mine is from the old world, and we also had to fight colonisation for centuries to retain our heritage, history and language. I understand where the love of singing in Te Reo comes from. And as an immigrant to these shores I can tell you that that language is truly beautiful and is in and of itself a treasure of these islands that all who call themselves children of Aotearoa New Zealand should safeguard. 

The subject matter is appreciation of moko kauae, how it is a taonga and its connection to whakapapa. Tia says it's her first Te Reo Waiata, and I am hoping it will be only the start of a long career singing in her native tongue. Alien Weaponry, Six60, Tia Ward. Make it happen for her. This song is indeed... divine.

Hollywood's Dream Teens!

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Tia Ward

Tia Ward is a young, up-and-coming Maori artist born and raised in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Growing up in a musical family Tia dreams of becoming the next big pop artist. Singing and performing her whole life, Tia has always had a passion for music and songwriting. Tia has so many stories she wishes to share and tell through her music, this is only just the beginning.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Tia Ward


Me & Me Too
Year: 2022
Type: EP

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