The Spinoff presents the video premiere of SoccerrPractise ‘Kaua E Mate Wheke’ animated video by Kim Newall & Frances Haszard.
Geneva Alexander-Marsters says:
As a Māori speaker, growing up in central Auckland in an English-urban environment has been challenging for my reo. I find myself looking on the internet to find whakataukī (proverbs) and check kupu as I write waiata for SoccerPractise. It works like an unconventional online thesaurus.
The whakataukī, ‘Kaua e mate wheke, mate ururoa’ popped up one day. Translated it says ‘Do not die like an octopus, die like a hammerhead shark’.
Octopuses are typically easy to kill once they’re caught, in comparison to catching a hammerhead shark – even in death the filleted flesh quivers as if it is still alive.
This waiata is like a chant that I can draw on to beat the odds against me. I like proving naysayers wrong and making sure that what I do is motivated by the best intentions. It’s such a satisfying feeling and I want to share that with everyone who hears this single.
In light of all the problems there are in Aotearoa and the world, I believe that we all have the capacity to improve ourselves and support each other. I think it’s imperative that the art we create combats trauma, victimisation and anxiety.
We talked about the music for this track a lot. We were aiming for somewhere between Cypress Hill and the All Saints, I think we achieved that. We ran the finished track back through an old tape machine at Roundhead Studios, giving it warmth and presence.
The art for the single focuses on abstraction and repetition as if hypnotising the viewer to take in every word. Band member Kim Newall provided the starting image and my talented friend Frances Haszard animated it.
This is our first release since signing with Kartel Music Group (UK)- we have some really exciting new material to share this year.
Whakarongo mai whānau, kaua e whakamā!
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