Olatia is the title of Te Vaka’s new CD. The first Te Vaka album was described as “a stereotype smashing glimpse into the true soul of the South Seas” and awakened people to the idea that that South Pacific had something very valuable to offer the world musically.
The second album, Ki mua, with it’s hit single “Pate Pate” went to number one on world music charts around the world and on mainstream radio throughout the Pacific Islands, the third album, Nukukehe, saw the group nominated for 2 BBC radio 3 world music awards, the fourth album, Tutuki, won Best Pacific Music album in 2004 and now finally album number five is here – with a magical integration of ancient and modern sounds together with the powerful rhythm of the log drums – it is possible that this could be their best album yet.
Opetaia Foa’i and his group of talented Polynesian musicians and dancers have toured the world constantly since 1997 bringing to people all over the world, the sounds and sights of Polynesia in a contemporary form accessible and irresistible to all.Although the music is contemporary, the roots are deeply in the South Pacific. Opetaia Foa’i, the songwriter for the group, (described as one of New Zealand’s finest songwriters and a true son of the Pacific), writes mainly in the language of Tokelau, the Island his father is from and sometimes in Tuvaluan and Samoan. His subject matter is at times deeply personal but always about the South Pacific. He uses his music to keep alive the traditions of story telling as well as a means to ensure that the language of these small Islands is not lost and last but not least to create awareness of environmental problems or issues such as global warming.
Te Vaka has worked hard to achieve the worldwide acclaim that they have so far received. The task made more difficult due to location, with New Zealand being so far away from Europe and the USA. They have recently made the move to Australia and are currently preparing for a tour of Europe that will include performances during the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup in France. It is hoped that the sound of the log drums pounding will help the AllBlacks (New Zealand’s rugby team) bring the cup home.