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Reviewed by Huia Hamon

Toni Huata: Tomokia

Reviewed by Huia Hamon

Toni Huata: Tomokia

With her stunning stage presence, powerful voice and performance, Toni Huata has paved the way for a number of Māori speaking singer/songwriters.

This is her fifth album release, which is no small feat for an independent and hard working wahine. For Huata, ‘Tomokia’ represents accomplishment, completion and bravery with the concept originating from an ancestral proverb: ‘E rere e te huata hopukia, e rere e te manuka tomokia’.

In this album, there are waves of different styles from dance, to reggae to more downbeat, electronic styles. It is similar to her last release ‘Hopukia’, which was also written with the charismatic Paddy Free, a sculptor and creator of epic soundscapes. With driving tribal beats on songs such as Tomokia and the distinct vibration/sound-wave style of Free, each song here is vibrant. The use of taonga puoro and te reo Māori is effortless. Supporting Huata’s clear strong voice and Free’s raw beats, ‘Tomokia’ has been beautifully engineered then mastered at Kog Studios by Chris Chetland to give it that extra sheen.