Regional | Māori

Barber Shop Sessions to highlight Northland talent

The Barber Shop web series has been changing lives one cut at a time as a platform for Māori men talking about mental health.

The show is based at The Chop Shop in Kerikeri, run by Denny Harden and his crew. A new series is switching tack and providing a new platform for local talent from the area.

Barber Shop Sessions is a six-part music documentary series featuring intimate live recorded waiata sessions by a new wave of rangatahi Māori artists from the North.

The new series takes place inside Denny Harden’s (aka Chop the Barber) The Chop Shop barbershop on the main street of Kerikeri.

Barber Shop Sessions is the brainchild of producer/creator Jason Taylor of Tai Huri Films, with support from renowned Māori filmmaker and executive producer Rhonda Kite ONZM and Kaiarahi Waiata/music director Kawiti Waetford.

Taylor (Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato-Tainui) said the idea for this season came after seeing the natural connection the tāne made with music in season one while waiting on the bench to get their hair cut. He said focusing on waiata and music this season allowed for an even more diverse range of rangatahi to feature and showcase their talent.

“At the heart of this programme is the beauty of the northern waiata and the strength of the music community in Te Taitokerau, so this kaupapa provides a launch pad for these artists and the opportunity to share their musical talent with a wider audience.”

Local kaiwaiata (singers) Kapowairua Waitai, John Kingi, Harry Muunu, Rachel Hall, and whānau band IllumiNGĀTI feature in their own episodes of Barber Shop Sessions before coming together at the end to perform for the series finale.