In 2022, we enlisted the help of some incredible Māori musicians to create 'Iarere Aio’ - a waiata/song all about finding your own strength and staying true to who you are in the face of bullying. Composed by the incredible PERE featuring MOHI, the entirely Te Reo Māori track is available on streaming platforms now.
Pere Wihongi gives us a little insight into the meaning behind the song:
“I have my own lived experience with bearing the brunt of bullying, and I’m sure a lot of us have. This waiata is about standing up against bullying and building a community against this toxic behaviour.
“In the chorus and the pre-chorus, the waiata is about spreading positive vibrations and encouraging resilience. ‘IARERE AIO’ literally translates to positive vibrations. Within the verses, we’re leading with affirmations – saying actually you are a rangatira, you are a manukura, you’re a leader, you're your own shining light. You’ll also hear references to Te Whare Tapa Whā – the foundations of our mental health and wellbeing.
“Speaking from my own community and experiences, I wanted to create a waiata that’s specifically for the people who have been bullied, reminding them of their own resilience and speaking to how to recover and heal. That’s at the core of this kaupapa. There’s a whakataukī that’s very important in te ao Māori: “E kore au e ngaro, he kākano i ruia mai i rangiātea.” (I will never be lost, for I am a seed sown in Rangiātea). I think that’s a mentality that is being lost, specifically when it comes to our rangatahi. They tend to forget about their greatness, their values, their strength. That whakataukī is reminding them of that – no matter where you go, no matter what you do, you will never be lost. I hope this waiata is another reminder of that.”
So – what are you waiting for? Get the whānau together and have a kanikani/dance together to celebrate Pink Shirt Day! Be sure to get on TikTok and try out the official dance to the chorus too – we’d love to see your moves!
COMPOSER - Pere Wihongi
Performers - PERE ft MOHI
Music producer - Matthew Sadgrove
Music Production studio - No Filter Ltd