“Mara creates unapologetic and fiercely ‘left of centre’ pop music that genuinely deserves a wider audience – both here and around the globe. We want to enable him to keep taking bold strides and realise his music visions.” APRA NZ
“Darkly enthralling; the songs plead for love as the only salvation…” New York Times
“Quite simply the best, most exciting R&B, soul, electronica, whatever you want to call it, record I’ve heard this year” Okayplayer
Mara TK has been awarded the 2015 APRA Professional development award, after also very recently winning a New Zealand Music Award with his band Electric Wire Hustle for best electronic album 2015, and releasing a new EWH album “The 11th Sky” to critical acclaim again in 2016. 2017 sees him selected to showcase at Seoul Music Week in May, with more dates TBA.
The son of Māori psychedelic rock legend Billy TK – Mara TK (Ngai Tahu, Ngati kahungunu, and Tainui), a golden voiced, Māori Scottish world-wandering citizen of Aotearoa (New Zealand) – has in the last few years, through his work alongside his acclaimed Kiwi future soul trio Electric Wire Hustle (winner of the best electronic act at the 2015 New Zealand Music Awards), proven himself to be a singular force for modern music.
Fluent in voice, guitar, bass and beat machines, Mara has been blessed to both work in the studio with and perform next to Eru Dangerpsiel, Wild Bill Ricketts, Ommas Keith, Muhsinah, Jake One, Julien Dyne and others, in the process forging an artistically idiosyncratic (and highly in-demand) reputation within the worlds of future soul and modern beats. Outside of his psychedelic-soul band Electric Wire Hustle, Mara TK has recorded and performed with Kimbra, Mos Def, Just Blaze, Fly My Pretties and Tim Finn among others, and in the process forged an idiosyncratic style within the worlds of soul music, modern beats and inter-disciplinary art.
Mara is also a New Zealand Maori multi-disciplinary artist who uses his compelling voice, programmed beats, video media and choreography to express a deeply felt and unique vision and sonics. He has held solo performances at major national institutions such as, the Museum of New Zealand and City Gallery Wellington; and at events in Europe and America such as Glastonbury Festival and SXSW in Austin, Texas.
He is also developing and exciting new cross-artform work titled Poropiti for 2016, expanding his creative horizons and pushing the boundaries of Māori urban art.
TK doesn’t see himself as a messenger of portents; “on my last record Love Can Prevail I was trying to distill the lyrics into key statements relevant to societal pressures, but with this new work Aeons I’m hoping to be the musical equivalent of David Lynch; to take the listener on a wild ride through new imagined worlds.”
Mara is debuting his physical theatre piece Poropiti in 2017. This two person show Poropiti is a series of vignettes traversing different points in Māori history; from utopian visions of a pre-European Aotearoa, to the emergence of the Māori prophetic movements, including that of T W Ratana; to meditations on current day capitalist dystopia. The show incorporates physical-theatre, choreography and live music, and brings Tola Newbery (Paa Boys) and the acclaimed voice and musical presence of Mara TK into challenging multi-disciplinary roles on stage; roles that evoke the surreal and avant-garde as well as deep aspects from the their own indigenous history. The show also has an AV component in development. We want to be innovative in presentation, but also aware of showcasing the natural strengths of both Mara and Tola.
NEWS UPDATE: Poropiti was chosen to showcase at the Auckland Arts Festival 2017 in the RAW season.
Poropiti also shows during the 2017 Basement Theatre Matariki season June 20-24. Tickets and info here.
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