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NewTracks New Artist: Pere

NewTracks New Artist: Pere

Another break-out artist from Te Reo collective Maimoa. Following Kaaterama Pou‘s gorgeous solo EP last year, Pere has just released his energetic debut single High On Ingoingo. Originally hailing from the far north, Pere’s big voice and great knack for catchy, bilingual songwriting, (not to mention the fabulous sense of style and dancing) convinced NZ On Air Music to feature him on their NewTracks compilation in July.

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

My full name is Pere Te Ruru o Te Ramana Wihongi. (Long I know, lol.)

I’m a self-taught guitarist, ukulele-ist and on triangle. Ok, maybe not the triangle…

What other projects might we know you from?

Mainly known for co-managing and performing for Māori pop group Maimoa, who are currently the most watched Te Reo Māori content on the internet. It’s been an amazing journey and I still manage and support the team.

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

Kapa haka! I believe it has developed my performance so much and I wouldn’t be the performer I am without it. From physical dance to facial animation right down to my vocals! Plus it’s a holistic development that connects me to my ancestors, my spirituality, social circles and physical training. From performing to tutoring and composing.

What’s the background story of how this Pere project came to be?

It’s the debut of my solo career, so it’s been a lifetime of preparation and build up to finally have my dreams come true on June 7, 2019, when my single was released.

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

I was always composing random jingles and songs with friends, mainly to be funny. But I remember composing a full song and teaching it to my school in Year 9, and it’s been learning and developing ever since! Still developing to this moment!

How did you come up with the name for the song?

It was a line I thought of when I would get excited about my future. Thinking and imagining different possibilities – I likened the feeling to being high on adrenaline – and swapped out a word for ‘ingoingo’ which means ‘desire’. Ka puta Mai ko High On Ingoingo. To which I paired it up with a melody that eventually became my hook.

What makes High On Ingoingo stand out for you as a single?

The fact that it’s an incorporation of Māori and English – but also the style and flow of the song. I’m hoping to really push out the uniqueness of our language and also bring it forward to the modern world.

What is the story behind High On Ingoingo?

Growing up in a full immersion Māori schooling system – this song was really to prepare me to venture into the big wide world! Maintaining those values and principles I’ve always been taught and holding on to those aspirational dreams and goals I’ve always had, which was to travel the world with music and Te Reo Māori.

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

A little word to manawatītīfy – Manawa tītī is a Māori proverb likening someone’s drive and persistence to the heart of a tītī bird – a native coastal bird in the South Island that travels thousands of miles across the sea.

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

This song has been sitting in my pocket for the last 8 years. I was so fortunate to have Rei and Kog Studios provide a comfortable place and space to bring life into this project. 

Describe in one sentence what you want listeners to take away from this song.

When you think of the light it’ll all fly by! This line here encourages everyone not to dwell in the hardships and failures on your respective journey to your dreams. Never a failure always a lesson! Think of the light and not the darkness. 

In general, how do you work out what song would make a good single?

I actually have no idea – but I know a song works for me when it resonates with my soul. If I can go to sleep, and still wake up the next morning singing the song, I know it’ll stick with others. 

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

Well, hopefully in the next few months I’m able to release my first EP for the summer season. Mixing Te Reo Māori with a unique vibe of music and creating more good vibes for Aotearoa and the world.

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

Rob RuhaParemata Mene 

Te Kakano Tōrea 

Teeks If Only

Have any of your previous applications not been included on NewTracks? Got any advice for people out there?

As this is my first track I’m so fortunate that I’ve had the amount of support I’ve had. But people have always said – ‘ABOUT TIME!’ Well, all I have to say is, it’s not a race! Take time for quality and experience. There’s no rush at all! And only release when YOU are happy.

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

Love me some Māori development podcasts. Planting Seeds and Living By The Stars by Dr Rangimataamua

How can we find you on social media?

‘AvataarPere’ on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook

Who did you make the video with?

I’m lucky to have the amazing Shae Sterling work on this production with Abe Mora and one of my favourite Kiwi Stylists Sammy Salsa, and Beat By Ben. All the credits and acknowledgements in the bio of the clip.