There is no doubt that Aotearoa is blessed with some wonderful male/female duos, who produce some simply incredible music, all in their own way. When it comes to a husband and wife partnership who perform in Te Reo, then there is no doubt that Charles (Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Te Ata, Te Ati Awa) and Emily Looker (nee Rice) are operating in a field which they have very much made their own. When they perform live, Emily provides incredible vocal loops, while Charles sings in his delicate tenor, adding acoustic guitar, but in the studio they bring in additional elements to fill the sound even more. They just don’t sound like anyone else, as they bring in so many additional elements with RnB, jazz, electronic, soul and folk being just a few of the places they borrow from to create something which is unique and entrancing.
This song is performed completely in Te Reo, a magical language, and they have again created something which is magical and exquisite. “Our waiata “Kia Mau” is about maintaining relationships and respect with people even if we don’t agree with them. “He tapu te tangata ahakoa ko wai” is a mātāpono from the founding document, Te Aho Matua, of kura kaupapa Māori that Charles learnt while at school. It means that a person is sacred no matter who they are or where they come from – or what their opinion is.” Having seen them perform I know their aroha shines out, and that is again the case with this, which embraces the listener and invites them in closer. They have had a few tours cancelled, as have many artists, but I am definitely looking forward to catching up with them on the next one which sees them performing throughout the country in June and July. Until then I will keep playing this.