Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Poi E

“Poi E whaka-tata mai
Poi E kaua he rerekē
Poi E kia piri mai ki au
Poi E-E awhi mai ra
Poi E tāpeka tia mai
Poi E o taua aroha
Poi E pai here tia ra


Poi E – Patea Maori Club

Throughout May a lot of different thoughts about New Zealand Music Month come into my head and most of them are singular thoughts about a small thing and do not create enough substance for a full length blog. I thought I’d make my last blog for NZMM 2013 one about lots of different points and tie up some loose thought ends.  I haven’t blogged about much beyond popular music, as I love the place it has in society and I find less mainstream music a bit of challenge to write about. But New Zealand is lucky to have a diverse local music culture with all different genres of music, and one of the key parts of NZMM is celebrating all type of Kiwi music.

When I started thinking about posts for New Zealand Music Month I had a suggestion tweet from a children’s music performing group to check out their work. For me it was one of the first realisations of what New Zealand Music Month really means and while their music in no way related to me – the lack of children on my behalf was the problem – I loved that they too were out celebrating our music month. Children’s music is a key part of child development and learning and I love the idea there is a Kiwi band out there dedicated to the wonderful world of children’s tunes. If you’ve got some young bubs, I recommend you check out FleaBITE’s tracks.

Along with children’s music I think a genre we forget about a lot is our indigenous music. Music is so important to a culture; it is a way of handing down stories through generations, especially as cultures within New Zealand become more integrated and dissolve into the cultural melting pot. Poi E remains one of New Zealand’s biggest hits and incorporates traditional Maori language, and dance and dress in the video clip. New Zealand Music Month helps the Maori music scene by encouraging people to view Kapa Haka performances and Maori music groups.

Speaking of Poi E I must make mention to those bands who came out with a hit … then disappeared. Poi E is known as New Zealand’s top one hit wonder according to an old C4 countdown, but special mentions to two other huge Kiwi one hit wonders: How Bizarre by OMC (which achieved large international success) and Ben Lummis for They Can’t Take That Away.

Speaking of reality TV contestants, I want to say ka pai to The X Factor NZ, who amongst their obvious advertising strategy, did a Kiwi anthem special during New Zealand Music Month to showcase our talent, from Brooke Fraser to Lorde to Six60 to that beautiful reminder of Goldenhorse and the classic Dave Dobbyn and Exponents. I think we left Mel Blatt impressed with Kiwi music scene.

To the rest of the others New Zealand Music month who deserve a mention – the DJs, the upcoming singer songwriters, the school choirs and University music showcases, the acoustic sets and that hard core death metal band who doesn’t quite make it onto a rock music radio station, I hope New Zealand Music Month has been a whole lot of fun and you’ve had your opportunity to showcase your talent. We’ll see you in a year, NZMM. 

Poi E


How Bizarre 

Ben Lummis 

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