George FM Kōrerorero with Theia
Te Ao Maori
Te Ao Maori

George FM Kōrerorero with Theia

Tīpare and award winning Māori artist Theia, talk favourite artists, BIPOC and Pride festivals, and carrying culture across seas.
31 May 2024 5:31PM

As a wrap up to NZ Music Month our Kaitūhono Māori Tīpare had a Kōrerorero with award winning Māori artist Theia who is in LA blazing musical trails for Aotearoa internationally. They talk favourite artists, BIPOC and Pride festivals, and carrying culture across seas. 


On what Theia is up to in LA: 

Says Theia: “I came over here, I want to say, about three months ago now to the States and to Canada, and I'm just over here trying to live my best life doing heaps of shows, festivals and prides. It's fabulous and a real blessing to be able to represent, you know, my country and more importantly to me, my reo and, you know, my Māoritanga when I'm doing my shows as well. So, yeah, that's what I'm up to. 


On the response to incorporating te reo Māori into her shows overseas:

George Korerorero
George Korerorero with Theia
00:00 / 05:38

“...on the whole no one really knows what I'm saying, but the main thing is that most of the lineups that I'm on, of course, Pride lineups are always extremely diverse, and then other festivals that I've been on….For example, I headlined this particular one in Seattle called Belltown Bloom, and it's organised and conceptualised by these two sisters who are Filipino Americans. And so the entire lineup prioritises BIPOC, non-males. And so automatically, even though no one really understands what I'm saying, the appreciation I feel for culture, indigeneity and, you know, reo that's not English is just so great. And so they're really fabulous and very generous audience who really got into it, it was fabulous.”


On how she incorporates tikanga into her performances while travelling:

“Well the way I operate in general is I can’t really go about my day without karakia anyways so the same kind of process operates over here. The only difference is instead of my team and my band who back home in Aotearoa is of course mostly all Māori, over here it is myself and my other band members who are American but the same kind of thing they’re just so fabulous you know, pretty much everyone I work with is also fellow BIPOC so I feel like they understand my, I guess prioritising of my tīkanga and safety. So they’re really sweet and will stand and karakia with me and try to do whatever they can to tautoko the kaupapa and I feel like anyone who’s from a marginalised community can totally support the subject matter as well which of course is largely about resisting misogyny, colonisation…”


On her favourite Aotearoa music artists:

I would say I have my eyes set very much as our people do, both into the past and into the future. So into the past I would say my absolute icons and inspirations are Ngoi Pēwhairangi, the really amazing Patea Māori Club, Delvanius record, Prince Tui Teka, Dennis Marsh was so beloved by my Nanny so I love listening to his records as well. Recently, I always tautoko our amazing wāhine Māori, especially sister Maisey Rika, Aunty Whirimako Black, I adore her mahi. And then on kind of folks that are more my peers, my age ahua rangatahi me ki, artists like Mā, in the queer community, I love Caru who does really sick remixes, Mokotron is fire, so, so much constant music being made that I love, Kahureremoa,  Lex Casino, yeah I’m really just in awe of our amazing community and everything that’s happening within our tāngata Māori and hapori Māori i roto i te ao waiata me ki.”

You can listen to the full uncut chat here: Kōrerorero with Theia

George FM Kōrerorero with Theia