Mara TK announced to headline Newtown Festival 2020

We welcome our next headline act, the prolific and spirited community leader and Newtown local Mara TK. Mara TK is presenting a very special Wellington premiere of new waiata, alongside harpist Michelle Velvin and drummer Cory Champion. This was first performed as part of NZ Music Month series at the Auckland Museum earlier in 2019. Catch him on the Tangata Whenua Stage (hospital end of Riddiford Street), kindly supported by Atiawa Toa FM and Te Upoko o Te Ika Radio, at Newtown Festival 2020.

We welcome our next headline act, the prolific and spirited community leader, Mara TK. Mara TK is presenting a very special Wellington premiere of new waiata, alongside harpist Michelle Velvin and drummer Cory Champion. This was first performed as part of NZ Music Month series at the Auckland Museum earlier in 2019. Catch him on the Tangata Whenua Stage (hospital end of Riddiford Street), kindly supported by Atiawa Toa FM and Te Upoko o Te Ika Radio, at Newtown Festival 2020.

Many know Mara Te Kahika (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu, Tainui) as core member of iconic Wellington act Electric Wire Hustle, relentless collaborator with the likes of Ria Hall, Lord Echo and Troy Kingi, or perhaps as the son of psychedelic guitarist Billy TK. Even more still from many varied musical and community-based projects.

“For me, music’s been a bit more social. It hasn’t been a singular one man making his art kind of thing. I’ve kind of ended up in different circles. I’m good with that.” 

Earlier this year alongside Troy Kingi, Mara TK mentored Ōtepoti/Dunedin kapa haka group, He Waka Kōtuia, to create the album Te Mahi Tamariki. The kaupapa was to recognise the talent of their rangatahi, create opportunities for the next generation, “providing them a pathway to continue the work of their ancestors through music”, and promote the value of te reo Māori. The success of this project culminates in this video for the single Huia Te Aroha.

Mara and Cory Champion (aka Borrowed Cs) also became first-time finalists for the prestigious APRA Silver Scrolls Maioha Award this year for their song Te Kete Aronui. RNZ describes it as “a soulful ballad infused with modern beats and strings, about the search for faith and wisdom.” Mara TK discusses how he wanted to inspire his daughters to uphold the kete/basket of knowledge as respect for people, te reo Māori, tikanga, traditional gods, as well as present issues.

There are many more projects, spanning across mediums and communities, exploring varied poetic and mystical and indigenous influences, but we get the sense that Mara TK, bluntly self-described “middle-class Newtown dad,” is channelling everything into being a good role model for his daughters. We look forward to Mara TK sharing this journey where it is at this point in time with you on Sunday 8 March on the Tangata Whenua Stage at Newtown Festival 2020.

Links:
Mara TK Te Kete Aronui single
APRA Silver Scrolls Maioha Award Finalists
Mara TK Silver Scrolls Maioha Award interview

He Waka Kōtuia Huia Te Aroha music video
He Waka Kōtuia Te Mahi Tamariki album
He Waka Kōtuia interview with Yadana Saw, RNZ

Electric Wire Hustle I Light A Candle music video
Mara TK Electric Wire Hustle interview
Mara TK, Mark Vanilau, Troy Kingi Aku Moutere live
Ria Hall Black Light ft. Mara TK music video
Lord Echo Just Do You ft. Mara TK music video
Troy Kingi Cold Steel ft. Mara TK music video
Borrowed Cs Brainstorm ft. Mara TK music video

Atiawa Toa FM
Te Upoko O Te Ika Radio

Newtown Festival 2020 event
Newtown Festival Facebook

Contact:
Emi Pogoni
[email protected]

Original Press Release