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On a roll to silver scroll

A piano ballad co-written by East Coast Music Ltd founder Tyna Keelan and up-and-coming Wellington singer/songwriter Angelique Te Rauna is in the running for an APRA Silver Scroll award.

Composed and performed in te reo Maori, the song Ka Ao is about finding self-confidence and following dreams. Ka Ao is now among four finalists for the APRA (Australasian Performing Rights Association) Maioha award.

The song came about while Keelan ran a music studio in Wainuiomata. Keelan suggested to then 16 year old Te Rauna she write a song in te reo Maori. The teen wrote the lyrics with her uncle Matauranga Te Rauna, an expert in te reo.

“Then Angelique came into the studio and said ‘I have some words. She wrote the song to her mother to show her appreciation for her life’s journey.”

Keelan wrote the music for the song and produced it but later thought the piece would work better as a piano ballad. He sent the music charts and a recording to Witchdoctor bandmates James Illingworth, a pianist, and double bass player Johnny Lawrence, “two of New Zealand’s finest session musicians”.

“They recorded their parts and sent me variations. I selected different parts to suit the song.

“More than a year passed after that because I was so busy with other projects and with moving to Gisborne. Then I put the song into the Maioha awards. I thought it was a good song but wasn’t expecting anything but then it got nominated.”

Ka Ao will be released by East Coast music in a month’s time. Meanwhile, it can be heard on rotation on Turanga FM.

Also getting airtime on Turanga FM is Ka Manu, a song Keelan and Witchdoctor bandmates were involved with along with Rob Ruha, Maisey Rika, Ria Hall and others to help lift the spirits of protesters at Ihumatao.

Ka Manu, which speaks of unity and peaceful resistance, has reached number one on iwi radio.

In 2011, Keelan won the APRA Silver Scroll award’s Maioha category with his song Ko Koe. If he wins it this year he joins Rob Ruha in being one of only two two-time winners of the award.

Tyna Keelan, who wrote the music for the song, and produced it. RNZ and file pictures
KA AO: Up-and-coming Wellington singer/songwriter Angelique Te Rauna (above) wrote the words, Gisborne-based musician Tyna Keelan wrote the music and now the pair’s song Ka Ao is an APRA Silver Scroll award finalist. Pictures supplied