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NewTracks New Artist: MarÜ

NewTracks New Artist: MarÜ

Waatea Music artist Sonny Maru-Habib performs under the stage name MarÜ. Hailing from Whakatane, this confident newcomer has just released his debut single Te Ora. The dance track was judged catchy enough to gain one of the few spots available on NZ On Air Music‘s NewTracks compilation right away. 

What’s your full name, where are you from and what instruments do you play, if any?

Ko Sonny Maru-Habib toku ingoa. Ko Ngati Rarawhati te hapu. Ko Ngati Awa te iwi. No Whakatane ahau.

What high school or other music training was important to you?

I grew an interest in music from a really young age and decided to pursue it during early high school. I would listen to my dad and his brothers sing at family events and was amazed at how well they sounded together.

What other projects might we know you from?

I haven’t much exposure to the music industry apart from a talent quest in year 11. I hope to invest in my own music studio so that I’m able to push my music further and more frequently.

Why did you choose MarÜ as project name?

The name MarÜ was derivative of the former part of my last name. Being Māori, I felt it I should keep my artist name near home. The accent on the U is a creative choice that I enjoyed making.

How did your music evolve from your beginnings in songwriting to what it is right now?

As any other songwriter, I find myself with a lot of unfinished ideas just waiting to be progressed. The contents are usually what my life is focused on at that certain point in my life, so seeing myself evolve through my hardships and triumphs is nostalgic to reflect back on.

What makes Te Ora stand out for you as a single?

Te Ora being the first single I’ve released at a professional level, it’s a step in the right direction to where I want to go with my music.

What is the story behind Te Ora?

Te Ora is based around kotahitanga (unity) and being able to identify your companions while uplifting them to be better than they were yesterday. Also, while living in the moment of helping others remembering to embrace yourself and your own accomplishes.

What’s your favourite moment, musical or lyrical, of the single?

There is a part in the breakdown where a chant is spoken. The chant denotes to the people of New Zealand standing for one another, and also themselves, being strengthened by others to work together through life.

Who did you write and produce the single with and where? 

This song was written in English by myself with a lot of points jotted down with what I wanted to say. I had then called my aunty who was willing to help, alongside some other family members, to translate this into song form.

What do you want listeners to take away from this song.

I’d like for people to understand that life is more fulfilling being on the happier side of the fence. And if you’re there, helping others is always appreciated and uplifting.

How do you work out what song would make a good single?

Creativity is a huge aspect in making a song, but really focusing on your target audience and how you want to portray a message, how and why you make a decision throughout the song-making process. In the end, it is really your own decision as to how you want it to sound, and if you enjoy that sound hoping others will take the same emotions/ideas that you have aimed for.

Any other musical endeavours you’re working on that we should keep an eye out for?

I have really ambitious ideas that I’d want to achieve later in my music career and hope to reach those by slowly progressing my exposure and impact on social media. To hopefully get funding so that I’m more available to express my art and work through my projects quicker is always a motivational key to being where I want to be.

Can you please tell us three other local tunes that should be on a playlist alongside your song.

I have recently been indulging in local music so the likes of Six60, Lion Rezz, Teeks are huge influences in my music.

Had any previous NZ On Air applications not funded or included on NewTracks? 

This is my first single so to be featured on New Artists is a privilege and honor.

Are there any musical blogs, Youtube channels or podcasts you’re into?

I surf YouTube a lot for musical inspiration and find vocalists and music producers who make their own covers/originals that catch my attention. I hope to reach that benchmark in the near future with my own home studio.

How can we find you on social media?


Any last words?

Ko tenei te mihi atu kia koutou katoa.
Chur Whanau

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