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Te Awanui Reeder on his Waiata 'Would Be You'

Te Awanui Reeder has released the single ‘Would Be You’ with an awesome animated music video to accompany it.  Nina Lesperance from SOUNZ caught up with the Te Awanui to talk about all things music.

Ko Mātaatua me Tainui ōku waka
Ko Ngā Pōtiki me Ngāti Raukawa ōku iwi
Ko Tahuwhakatiki me Huri ōku marae
Ko Te Awanui Reeder tōku ingoa.

Congratulations on your new waiata ‘Would Be You.’ Can you tell us what it is about?

Thank you!
It’s funky, sexy, and soulful. Like a fine New Zealand wine, this jam will evoke lush notes of being in love, having that cheeky crush, or acknowledging that special someone in your life.
The response has been amazing and it debuted on the NZ HOT Singles chart at #9!

Your music has a unique sound of the pacific with an R&B beat. How do you think this has influenced ‘Would Be You’?

I simply write how I feel.
I can only work with the beats I have available, which provides a healthy challenge. In saying that, I’m very fortunate to have talented friends that are producers, so it’s more about timing and being patient. Experience has shown me that everything in my life, happens when it’s meant to.

How does Te Ao Māori influence your music?

Being Māori influences everything I do.
Inspired by our tupuna and driven by our tamariki.

How do you think this single differs from your last single ‘Nothing’ released in 2019?

‘Would You Be’ is an upbeat love song, while ‘Nothing’ is a slow ballad.
Every song I compose is different. It’s simply a moment, a feeling, an idea that I attempt to catch and interpret. One of the constant challenges is having to work with the available energy, investment, and resource at the time of producing the song.
When I’m successful at receiving funding, I’m able to really go hard, which includes producing a video like ‘Nothing’. However, there are many times where I haven’t been successful in getting funding like with ‘Would You Be’, which forces me to get creative in how I take my music to the world.

What was the inspiration behind the animated music video?

The inspiration behind the video was more out of necessity as I didn’t have funding for this song, which limited my ability to produce a video. Fortunately, I have animators that work for my company (Big River Creative) who were able to make the artwork for “Would You Be” move and dance.

Can you tell the SOUNZ audience what it was like to reunite and perform with Nesian Mystik again at OneLove festival in 2020?

We had an awesome time performing!
It’s not often we want to perform, plus we’re retired. But it was so much fun jamming our tunes and sharing that moment with the audience who were giving us so much aroha. There was a beautiful moment where we brought Dremayer (Feleti’s daughter) on stage to sing Mr Mista and then Che Fu joined us as we dedicated ‘Sun Goes Down’ to his mother who has passed away. It was beautiful and it was one of our best performances ever.

Do you have anything else coming up that the SOUNZ audience should keep an eye out for?

Just keep doing the wonderful mahi you do.
I’ll continue to write and record music, for myself and other artists. It’s my therapy and healing. It is my conversation with the universe and my tūpuna. It’s how I make sense of the world and explore the feelings I have.
Once I release a song to the world, it’s no longer mine. Whatever happens after that is out of my control.