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Coinciding with the commencement of The Wiki o Te Reo Māori (Maori Language Week), Songbroker are proud to welcome Ariana Tikao to the fold.

Ariana is a unique performer and composer of heartfelt music in both Te Reo Māori and English. She draws on folk and pop styles with a strong emphasis on Māori chant. Although now living in Wellington, her music is inspired and influenced by her Māori ancestry and the dramatic landscape of Te Waipounamu – The South Island of New Zealand.

Since beginning her music career in Christchurch with folk duo Pounamu in 1993, to launching her solo career and releasing her debut solo album Whaea in 2002, Ariana has consistently produced beautiful and moving music that contributes to the growing corpus of contemporary Maori music.

On February 22nd 2012 she touched the nation with her rendition of Whakaaria Mai for the Christchurch Earthquake Memorial event in Hagley Park, televised live and broadcast internationally.

Ariana was a featured artist on the Ihimaera album with some of the country’s top recording artists. She also played the song live in the Auckland Arts Festival for the Ihimaera Show. 

She also completed a nationwide tour in November 2011 with Ngai Tahu musicians Mahina-ina Kaui and Christine White as Voices of Our Ancestors, under the umbrella of Arts on Tour NZ.

In 2010 Ariana completed a tour of New Zealand to rave reviews with singer-songwriter Hannah Howes for the “Wahine Toa” tour. That year she performed her Ohaki (multi-media) show, featuring Richard Nunns, to standing ovations in Christchurch and Nelson.

In March-April 2008 Ariana was Musician in Residence at the Centre for New Zealand Studies, at the University of London, Birkbeck, after being awarded a $10,000 Creative New Zealand grant.

That same year she was a featured soloist in the WOW Wearable Arts Awards in Wellington, and also performed in the prestigious Pao Pao Pao event in the Wellington Town Hall where she was presented with an achievement award from Toi Maori.

In 2008 she released her second solo album Tuia meaning 'stitched' – a metaphor for the connections between people, within and across generations. It is a bilingual album featuring production from award-winning producer Leyton, whose sparse electronic sound provides an engaging and gorgeous background for Ariana’s beautiful voice.

Tuia received rave reviews, with BBC 3 Radio calling it “haunting and ethereal” and NZ Herald hailing it “a magical and at times mystical trip”.

Inspired by the devastating earthquake in her hometown of Christchurch, From Dust To Light, was released in November 2012 with Tikao presenting crystalline vocals and spacious meditative song structures with sparse, lush instrumental enhancement. Here too, Tikao alternates from English to Te Reo – in particular her native Kai Tahu dialect.

We look forward to pitching her beautiful music to film and tv.

Ariana Tikao, Te Reo, Kai Tahu