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Song You Need to Know: REED., ‘Murimuri Aroha’

The Tāmaki Makaurau-based producer and musician created the soulful waiata entirely in te reo Māori


Tessa Libby

REED. has released a new song called “Murimuri Aroha” for Matariki, the Māori New Year.

Based in Tāmaki Makaurau, REED. (Sasha Te Whare of Ngāti Maniapoto) created this soulful waiata entirely in te reo Māori. The song explores the emotions of a relationship ending, complete with R&B influences.

REED. shares: “It was an exaggeration of what was going on in my life at that point in time. My partner was leaving for Whāngarei to fulfil her dream job the week before I attended SongHubs so there were a lot of emotions building up to that point. We were set on making it work but there was always that question of what if this doesn’t work out.”

The song was written at the 2023 APRA AMCOS’ Te Reo Māori SongHubs, where REED. was selected by Hāni Dread (Creative Natives, Katchafire) to attend alongside talents like Aja Ropata, Byllie-Jean, and Amba Holly.

“Mā played the grand piano and guitar, I drummed and Noema Te Hau III came in with all of the glue on synth and production. Hani Dread came through with the spice playing a guitar solo that plays out the rest of the song.”

“Murimuri Aroha” marks REED.’s first waiata entirely sung in te reo Māori, with assistance from Mātanga Reo Dr. Hona Black (Tūhoe, Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngāti Tūwharetoa).

“I was super nervous at first but after explaining the song and my feelings he said, ‘Yeah, we can work with that.’ It was crazy to see how much information and detail you can fit into one sentence. Looking back I don’t feel that using English would have been possible – without Dr Hona Black, “Murimuri Aroha” would’ve just been another sad break-up song.”

The music video, directed by Luke Penney, shows REED. in a caravan on a bumpy country road, reflecting the song’s theme of holding onto a relationship.

“During COVID lockdowns Luke saw someone sitting in the back of a caravan going along the motorway. He mentioned to me that had always wanted to use that idea but wanted to wait for the right song to use it. I think I tore that caravan apart three times, we had about 15 minutes to capture all of the takes so there was a lot of adrenaline pumping the whole time. Gotta say, staying composed through all of the bumps was pretty hard too.”

REED. is an emerging talent in the local scene, having released his debut EP, She’s A Mixtape, in 2023. His catalogue dates back to 2019, featuring collaborations with The Freq Collect & Daizzy.

REED.’s “Murimuri Aroha” is out now.