The incredible Māori DJ Lady Shaka wants 're-indigenise club culture' and has created a playlist of oro (music) made by indigenous Māori artists from all across Aotearoa to show off all the talent you may not know about.
Born in New Zealand and now living in the UK, Lady Shaka created the playlist to “shed light on some of my favourite Māori musicians and the different sounds that exist within Māori communities,” she said in an Instagram post. The playlist is named ‘Rongo(a)’ - ‘rongo’ is Te Reo for 'listen' and ‘rongoa’ is Te Reo for 'medicine'.
The playlist comes as part of her wider movement to ‘re-indigenise club culture’, which she talked about in a beautifully written and insightful newsletter for Boiler Room.
She shares how her culture is at the heart of her creative process and is at the forefront of her ambitions, being one of the few internationally recognised Pasifika DJs.
My goal as an artist is to carry my people with me and this marking is a constant reminder as to why I do what I do as an artist.
“In the past few years, before I would get on stage I would draw a marking of a Gogo (seagull) on my left cheek as a form of protection and acknowledgement of my Pacific ancestry but also to embody the freedom of the Gogo,” she wrote.
She also talks of 'Hoki Whenua Mai (Land Back)', an event she held dedicated to Māori artists and DJs.
“Between the 1960’s and 1990’s K Road and Ponsonby were known as heavily Māori and Pacific populated areas which are now gentrified suburban areas that make up central Tāmaki Makaurau.”
“Our goal was to re-indigenise the space and re-indigenise we did.”
“During my parent’s generation speaking Māori was banned in schools and if you spoke the language you were beaten,” she continued.
“To see the reverse of Māori claiming space and taking up space is a feeling of pride one can’t explain. I hope this is the first of many more Māori led electronic music events and inspires other indigenous communities across the world to do the same.”
This is absolutely awesome stuff from Lady Shaka and, as she said, we hope to see more of it to come.