Te Karehana Gardiner-Toi (Ngāpuhi, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui), known as music artist TEEKS, has been nominated for three awards at the Waiata Māori Awards. He's also been named as a finalist for the APRA Silver Scroll Songwriters Award.
Rising star Te Karehana Gardiner Toi has been nominated for Best Māori Male Artist, Best Māori Songwriter and Best video by a Māori Artist at the Waiata Māori Music Awards.
He says, "It's massive for me because a lot of the artists in there I listened to growing up as a kid and I listen to now so I'm just like OK, far out my song is in the same category, which I'm stoked about."
His song "If Only" has also been nominated for an APRA Silver Scroll Award.
"It's a love song obviously if you hear it, but it's just about unrequited love and not being able to love someone when they feel something for you."
Te Karehana uses music as a creative outlet for emotion.
"I hope that my music is able to just trigger an emotion or feeling in somebody. Hopefully, if they've experienced similar things they can find comfort in the song, in the music."
A native speaker, he has aspirations of releasing songs in te reo Māori.
"I want to promote it to the world or whoever and for kids to learn as well while growing up so that radio and TV can broadcast Māori music for the longevity of the language."
The Waiata Māori awards ceremony will be held in Hastings on September 15.