elena

elena

BandFolkWorld

elena, her powerful voice resonating deeply, like an echo of Tracy Chapman's, bursts forth in a frenzy passion and thought-provoking lyrics. The singer songwriter reaches back into her ethnic origins to draw strength from her ancestors by integrating Polynesian and Afro-American sounds.

Biography

Imported from the Islands of Australia, New Zealand and Samoa this exotic package of vibrance is currently touring North America. Noted as this generations next Odetta, the powerful voice of elena (e-lane-nah) encorporates a genre combining folk, blues and soul with a twist of world music. elena’s Samoan and Maori heritage are reflected in the infectious energy and wild joy of her performances which weave a compelling musical tapestry uplifting all who experience her.

Three years into her incredible musical journey, indigenous performer and singer song writer elena, is embarking upon her next adventure in North America. Performing in festivals and venues to share her energy, enthusiam and passion for empowering others to empower themselves.

elena is the daughter of a Samoan chief and Maori ancestry. She is passionate about issues of the environment, indigenous people and women which is reflected in her song writing.

New to the festival circuit in 2004 elena has been performing in National and Canadian festivals.

2004 saw elena tour Australia top to bottom and east to west.

With Australia ringing from her powerful Maori vocals she headed to Canada with the Aussie Crocpot including Fruit, Xavier Rudd, Ben Lee, Jeff Laing and Jodie Martin for the 2005 Canadian Music Week and International Folk Alliance Conference.

Crossing the border elena opened the Aussie BBQ at SxSW, Austin, Texas organized by Austrade which included artists John Butler Trio, Missy Higgins, Little Birdy, The Grates, Wolfmother and Gyroscope.

Touring the remote corners of Australia took elena into the detention centres and missions that are home to many indigenous Australians. Fired by the death in custody of a young Aboriginal man, elena is determined to use her vocal talent, precocious personality and unique perspective as an indigenous New Zealander to empower people of all races and creeds, to empower themselves.

elena is a powerful message of acceptance, tolerance, courage and passion that communicates readily with audiences of all sizes.

Take the time to be captivated by elena at your festival or venue.

Kia kaha – Be strong, be proud of who you are and believe in yourself!

Lyrics

Powerful Women

Written By: elena

Powerful Women

Have you ever wondered about herstory?
Powerful women and battles fought.
For you and me both to live in this society,
Freedom and choice we’ve come a long way.
In this unjust world we live today,
Some women feel unworthy and suppressed,
Dominated by rules and culture
Knowing nothing else.

Wondered about herstory?
Powerful women fighting battles
For you and me both
In this unjust world
Women feel unworthy
Dominated by rules and culture
Knowing nothing else.

Women are powerful.
Believe in ourselves to change history
Search your soul, follow your guide.
Make a Difference filled with pride
Breakdown your barriers and phobias
Our battle has only just begun.
Women together united we stand
Powerful as we’re one.
Changing history to herstory
Believe in ourselves
Search your soul, follow your guide.
Powerful as we’re one
Powerful as we’re one
Powerful as we’re one

Who Point the Finger

Written By: elena

Victims of the system
Bred in a way
Who Points the finger
Who are to blame?
I ask, “Who points the finger who is to blame?”

Radio news flash ‘Twin Abducted Today’
Community in shock and total disarray
Flowers wilt in silence
At his sight last seen
In time his memory fades
Grief struck family deemed
Papers print the stories
‘Child molested by priest’
‘Home invasions rise’, ‘Bomb kills ten at least’
Who Points the finger
Who are to blame?
I ask, “Who points the finger who is to blame?”

Entertainment needed
Crimes and murders watched
Brain washed by the visions
Viewed on the box.
A TV story unfolds
With drama and suspense
Characters are killed
Actors live make sense.
Media cries wolf and looks the other way
Our ratings are high is usually what they say.
Who Points the finger
Who are to blame?
I ask, “Who points the finger, who is to blame?”

Crime is escalating
Drug abuse on hand
Maybe a form of escapism, from living on this land.
Reality we live
Confused unconscious thoughts
Dreamtime weaving
Conscious yet not taught.
Victims of this system
Bred in this way

Who points the finger?
Who do we blame? (X4)

Nga Iwi E (Your Tribe, Clan, Community)

Written By: Hiri Tewhai

I use the song Nga Iwi E to close my set as it sums up the purpose to why I feel so passionate about issues that are addressed in my songs that I sing.

Nga Iwi E is the only track on the CD which was not written by me but Hiri (who-re) Tewhai (T-fi).

Nga Iwi E is in the language of New Zealand Maori. It is a traditional Maori song.

The song talks about coming together as one body, one voice one spirit.

Translation
Nga Iwi E (Nar-e-wee)
Your tribe, your community, your mob, your clan

Kia kotahi ra (key-a core-ta-he-ra)
Come together as one body, one spirit, one voice!

Te moana-nui a kiwa (T-more-wana newi a key-wa)
How can this be possible, how can this be done?

Ki te mana motuhake (Key-a te man-na more-2-ha-ki)
Me te arhoha (Met te r-raw-ha)
This can be possible, this can be done through the power of love!

Wahine ma (wa-hin-eee mar)
The women

Maranga mai (ma-rung-a my)
speak out / call out

Tane ma (ta-nah mar)
The men

Whakarongo - tautoku (fuc-a-rong-or toe-took-or)
listen and support

KIA KAHA (KEE-A CAR-HA)
Be strong
Be proud of who you are
And believe in yourself!

Discography

EP 'soul change' March 2006.
Debut CD 'rivers of the soul' 12 track original songs December 2003.

Set List

8 - 10 songs per set (flexible and will fit in with artist / program director) - chosen on melody, theme, venue and audience.

Sets 30 - 40 minutes x 3 or 4 sets - pending on venue.

Facilitate instructional workshops for both adults and children (teaching background - preschool to tertiary) at festivals and town venues. This includes song writing, performing, Maori and Samoan dance and 'traditional' action songs.

Songwriting and performing.