Home Music Music News

Song You Need to Know: Geneva AM, ‘Pikipiki’

The Tāmaki-based singer and producer teams up with Samara Alofa, Hawkins, Mara TK, and Rewi McLay for the NZ Music Month single

Geneva AM

Mike Hall

Geneva AM’s latest waiata, “Pikipiki”, kicks off with the deep, oceanic sound of a conch, summoning ancestral strength. With guest harmonies, it sets a lively tone for NZ Music Month / Te Marama Puoro o Aotearoa, celebrating local innovation and the power of te reo Māori.

Having won the Te Tohu Puoro o te reo Māori award at the 2023 Student Radio Network Awards, Geneva AM brings vibrant energy to “Pikipiki”, joined by Mara TK, Samara Alofa, Hawkins, and Rewi McLay (KIKO).

The result? Bright dance-pop with a touch of tradition and a smooth guitar solo by Mara TK.

Geneva describes “Pikipiki” (meaning to climb in te reo) as her “positive force field,” hoping it spreads good vibes and brings people together.

“The 2020’s have been a bit hard on everyone in different ways and I wanted to create a song about overcoming obstacles,” she explains. “The term ‘Pikipiki’ means to climb and ‘Hikihiki’ refers to ascending. The lyrics are about climbing the highest mountain and flying over those obstacles like a kite as it ascends into the sky.

“I was also thinking about Tāwhirimātea (atua of the wind and storms) who always stands up for what he believes in, using storms to bring new beginnings. Pikipiki is a call out to him, asking for his breath to aid our kite’s flight and help us bring change.”

Geneva also highlights the collaborative nature of the song. “I think music is supposed to be a collective experience with different levels of skill and knowledge. Singing in a group is healing and a natural thing for all people to do. I love the harmonies in ‘Pikipiki’ and getting to arrange the parts alongside the other singers. I wanted to be in a group again. Just singers singing for a day. It was great.”

With support from NZ ON Air, the accompanying music video for “Pikipiki”, directed by Ally Lase, captures the supergroup in the studio in all their recording glory (watch below).

“Pikipiki” follows Geneva’s earlier 2024 single, “T(M)²I” (pronounced Tangaroa Made Me Ill), which was released on Valentine’s Day.

Catch Geneva AM at the dbldbl single release party this Saturday, May 4th alongside Mokotron, Imugi 이무기, and Randa at Whammy Backroom (tickets can be found here).

Geneva AM’s Pikipiki” is out now.