The musician and songwriter tells us about the first CD she bought, Neopets, songwriting in te reo Māori and more in this week’s episode of FIRST.
Em Walker has a unique musical vision. As Theia, she releases futuristic alternative pop like 2017 hit ‘Roam’ and this year’s bilingual single ‘CREEP’. Parallel to this, she has also been releasing original waiata Māori under the name Te Kaahu. The latest one, ‘E Hine Ē’, sounds completely timeless, just her voice accompanied by the strum of an acoustic guitar.
What influences inform this musical vision? Walker’s work as Te Kaahu can be traced back to growing up a “kapa haka kid” surrounded by waiata and te reo Māori. But the genesis of her work as Theia comes from a very different place: “My favourite record compilation of all time,” she says, “the Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle soundtrack.”
Released in 2003, the soundtrack to the Charlie’s Angels sequel features a cross-section of popular music from the last 40 years, “everything from Bowie to Donna Summer to the Beach Boys to P!nk to Pharrell.” It was Walker’s first CD, and she says she memorised every single song. “It was honestly the musical education that I believe every child in the 2000s needed.”
This episode of FIRST was made with the support of NZ On Air.