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Inspiring Journeys Through Music
with Pere Wihongi

Inspiring Journeys Through Music with Pere Wihongi

The multifaceted career of Pere Wihongi is a testament to her versatility and dedication to her craft. From her early days on the marae to her expansive work in music, Pere embodies the spirit of innovation and the enduring importance of te reo Māori in contemporary art forms. In this episode of ‘Inspiring Journeys Through Music,’ Pere shares her insights and experiences as a Māori artist and composer, opening up about her journey and the challenges faced by Māori artists.

For Pere, her journey into the world of music was deeply influenced by her upbringing in rural Herekino and the cultural tapestry of her community. She speaks fondly about how waiata played an integral role in her life, instilling in her a sense of confidence and setting the stage for a life dedicated to the revitalisation of te reo Māori.

“I think within my music career to date, a lot of my focus has gone towards revitalisation and using te reo Māori as a key to inspire our rangatahi. And can I just say it is one of the best tools to inspire, to really activate excitement within our tamariki, within our rangatahi — waiata and te reo Māori. They are two of the best keys to not only inspire and excite them, but also to mobilise our communities.”

As Pere points out, waiata Māori are finally gaining more space in mainstream media, but the road for Māori artists is still fraught with challenges. Pere candidly discusses the financial and logistical hurdles that many aspiring artists face — the dream of being discovered by a big label and having all expenses covered is a far cry from reality for most. "Don't expect that you're going to get the million dollars," she advises, highlighting the importance of self-funding and harnessing modern technology, which allows for music production without the need for costly studios or equipment. 

“We're in a new space now with technology. It's so amazing, now we can manage music and record things just like that. You don't need the big flash studios to go and record your waiata. You actually don't need a big flash camera to film your waiata. It really just comes down to the power of your content.”

Pere explains how waiata have served as a tool for passing down history and whakapapa through the generations, describing the role of contemporary Māori artists as the tūpuna of the future and stressing the importance of creating music that accurately reflects current experiences and aspirations.

“And that to me shows the importance or the mana of waiata, of composing, and that everything that we compose, everything that we create, will be the archive for the next two hundred years down the line.” 

Through her infectious enthusiasm and unwavering passion, Pere embodies the essence of resilience, cultural pride and artistic excellence, inspiring emerging artists to embrace their creativity, seize opportunities and celebrate Māori culture through music. Join host Alana Broughton on this inspiring journey through music with the radiant Pere Wihongi. 

E mihi kau ana ki te tira tautoko i te kaupapa Puoro ki te Ao

Kaiuiui: Alana Te Piki Broughton
Kaitito, Kaipuoro: Pere Wihongi

Te Tira Hanga Hōtaka Māori
Kaihautū Matua: Diana Marsh, Claire Szabó
Kaihautū Puoro Māori, Hanga Hōtaka Māori: Toni Huata
Kairuruku Hanga Hōtaka Māori: Kirsten Te Rito
Kaitohutohu Hanga Hōtaka Māori: Roger Smith
Kaiwhakahaere Whakatairanga: Leoné Venter
Kaiāwhina Hanga Hōtaka: Jonathan Engle, Sarah Ballard, Isobelle Walker, Yeonhee Lee, Grace Newman, Aisyah Dzulkiflee

He mihi nui ki te tira tautoko
Kaihanga Kiriata: The Renegade Peach Project - Mark Russell (Director, DOP, Editor) Arlo Edwards, Josiah Nevell (Camera Operators) and Tyler Andrews (Camera Assist)
Taupuni Hopuoro: Matrix Digital – Phill Adams, Simon Blackwell (Sound Engineers), 
Kaiwhakatauira Whakanikoniko: IDIA – Johnson Witehira, Kimiora Whaanga (Graphic Designers)
Kaimanaaki, Kaitautoko: James Illingworth, Tracey Mackay
Ringa Whakapai Āhua: Michele Perry, Natalee Fisher
Kaikarakia, Kaitautoko: Adrian Tangaroa Wagner

He mihi nui ki te Manatū Taonga, nā rātou te pūtea tautoko

This film is supported by funding from Manatū Taonga | The Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

© Copyright Centre for New Zealand Music Trust