Singer Moana Maniapoto discusses her evolution as a Māori musician in this episode from a series for high school music students. After first singing in public on the marae and learning to harmonise at school, she paid her way through university by singing in nightclubs. She describes her epiphany in a Detroit church as she realised that she needed to sing Māori songs rather than keep trying to emulate American soul and r'n'b divas. An acoustic performance of 'Hine Te Iwaiwa' (from her Toru album) is followed by a demonstration of traditional instruments.
I tried to sound like some of those fantastic women singers from the States. But, when I got over there, they were a dime a dozen, and what wasn’t over there was someone from New Zealand who was very strong about their own identity so that was when I stopped trying to sound like other people.– Moana Maniapoto