Entertainment | Te Reo Māori

Overseas musicians thirsty for reo Māori music

Jordyn with a Why

Māori musician Jordyn Rapana, who performs under the snappy stage name, “Jordyn with a Why,” has just returned from the International Music Summit in Canada, where she said there was a lot of interest in waiata sung in Māori.

The International Indigenous Music Summit (IIMS) is the largest global event dedicated to celebrating, creating awareness, sharing resources, and building opportunities for the Indigenous music community.

Rapana notes the irony that, while at home the use of Māori is being scrutinised, overseas the appetite for te reo Māori and Māori music remains huge. She has just returned home and is feeling energised.

“It was an incredible experience to stand and deliver waiata in te reo in a foreign land. And their amazement at us. It was awesome to listen to the voices of other indigenous people, their language, their stories,” Rapana says.

She says she was able to experience first-hand the appetite for Māori music, which may be difficult to see at home, " I was surprised, when it came time to sing, I was nervous, what would they think about Māori songs? But I was so happy, they were hungry for it, they were excited by it.”

With Matariki fast approaching, she has many hopes she’ll be offering to Hiwa i te rangi, “so that there will be more Māori singers, no matter who they are - Māori or Pākehā, - so the appreciation for the language grows and so our country will be a Māori- speaking country,” Rapana says.