A music makeover has paid off for an indigenous diva after her first ever chart success.
Wellington-based singer-songwriter Toni Huata launched her fourth album, ‘Hopukia’, late last month (July) – her first in the dub and electronica genre, her first bilingual collection of songs and her first in collaboration with top New Zealand musicians Paddy Free and Gareth Farr.
The 10-tracks in two languages – Māori and English – debuted at number seven in the official New Zealand album charts at the beginning of last week (July 30) and went straight to number five in the top 20 Independent Music New Zealand album charts on Monday (August 6).
After performances at the recent Pacific Festival of the Arts in the Solomon Islands and the album launch at the beginning of Māori Language Week in Wellington, Huata is now planning a country-wide tour from October.
In mid-November, she will attend the Australasian World Music Expo in Melbourne – an event which attracts industry buyers from local and international music markets as well as concert goers – and she also has her sights set on an international tour of Australia and Europe early next year.
Huata (Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongowhakaata) says her first three albums – ‘Te Māori E’, ‘Mauri To’ and ‘Whiti’ – were unique contemporary Māori language recordings which were well received on the national and international world music circuit.
“Hopukia is an exploration of talent, genre and culture – there is something which will appeal to any taste – and I feel honoured that we have struck a chord with our audience as well as our new followers.
“To rate on the Kiwi music charts is a great achievement for a Māori album and testament to everyone’s hard work – from those involved in the production to the pre-launch season of shows to the on-going distribution and sales.”
Funded by the Māori broadcasting funding agency, Te Māngai Pāho, ‘Hopukia’ is available in record stores or online at www.amplifier.co.nz; www.smokecds.com; www.itunes.apple.com/nz; www.marbecksdigital.co.nz; and www.nztop40.co.nz.
The track, ‘Arise’, is also available as a free download through www.amplifier.co.nz, www.facebook.com/tonihuatamusic and www.tonihuata.com.
Click here to download from itunes