Indigenous | Ladi6

Ladi6 embraces te reo with the Māori release of 'Walk Right Up'

She's had an award-winning music career spanning more than two decades and a member of the New Zealand order of merit for her services to music.

Karoline Parker-Tamati, better known as Ladi6, is easily recognised for her husky voice, and her unique blend of hip-hop, funk, reggae and jazz.

Ladi6 is Sāmoan and one of the most in-demand performers around the Aotearoa music festival stages.

For the first time, Ladi6 will feature in this year's Waiata Anthems with a reo Māori version of her 2008 single Walk Right Up' called Whāia Te Māramatanga.

Ladi6 said she was too whakamā to perform her hits in Māori and thought she needed to learn to speak Sāmoan first and foremost.

Ladi6 doesn’t identify as Māori, having two Sāmoan parents but, after doing an test, has found six percent of her bloodline is Māori although she has no clue who in their family is Māori.

'Beautiful exchange'

Ladi6 said she experienced a lot of interest at shows from Māori to do a translated version of that song “so when I was asked again and to choose a song, I immediately knew I was going to do that one".

She had help translating from a wahine from Ōtautahi and said that the experience of translating the song was a “beautiful exchange”.

Ladi6 received her insignia last week from the New Zealand Order of Merit and said that the experience was "‘very fancy" and "super nervewracking"

“It was awesome and I felt very privileged to be there, I’m still processing that as it was a beautiful moment and I wish my mother were still alive to witness it.”