MIHIRANGI - The Queen of Loops
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MIHIRANGI - The Queen of Loops

Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand | Established. Jan 01, 2001 | SELF

Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand | SELF
Established on Jan, 2001
Solo R&B A Capella




"Mihirangi by Ali Campbell from UB40"

"She's just brilliant with a capital 'B'! In the 30 years I've toured the world I've never seen anything like her… she belongs on stage." - Ali Campbell UB40. - Ali Campbell UB40

"Mihirangi's Album "Somebody Shake The Tree" Review"

“Mihirangi's Album "Somebody Shake The Tree" - A beat driven tapestry of pure vocal and lyrical percussion… heavy gritty bass lines to sweet symphonic harmonies, Mihirangi’s music will inspire you with her universal messages of love, beauty and empowerment.”
Falen Tuuga Stevenson - Spasifik Mag Album Review - Spasifik Magazine - Album Review

"Mihirangi - CONCERT REVIEW"

“...infectious joy oozes from her very being, and captured our hearts… one of the most exciting, original and conscious solo performers of Australasia. This girl has got so much raw talent and enthusiasm it is an honour to watch her perform".”

The Very Good Agency - Victoria State Museum CONCERT REVIEW - The Very Good Agency

"Mihirangi - Jason Kerrison"

"A New Zealand version of Bjork… right here, right now we are discovering a massive star…. not only is it the best thing I’ve seen today but it's one of the best things I've ever seen hands down… just mind blowing... there’s some kind of transformative shifting thing going." - Jason Kerrison OpShop. - Op Shop

"Mihirangi - Rachel Hunter"

“Unbelievable… unique, hot, sexy… clearly a star… we’ve seen other things before but we have not seen something like this! You see this whole thing form from the beginning to the end… just mesmerizing.” – Rachel Hunter - Super Model

"Live Review - Mihirangi"

...Mihirangi surpassed all expectations.

I'd never really heard any of Mihirangi's material previous to this gig, but from the moment this quietly spoken Maori woman stepped on stage and began her performance I knew I would never forget her. Using a loop pedal, Mihirangi layers her Vocals into, intricate harmonies with beat boxing, tribal rhythms and vocal bass lines to accompany her r’n’b infused vocals. She opened her set with a traditional Maori song of greeting, and her a ccapella vocal strength sent shivers of awe down my spine. Mihirangi held the audience's avid attention with tracks from her first solo full-length album Kulcha Nation. She played out her concerns for indigenous, environmental and spiritual issues with the hip hop infused title track Kulcha Nation. Her soulful beat-boxed World Citizen got the crowd head nodding along. She absolutely blew us away when she set her loop-pedal going and jumped off stage to begin a frenetic dance with her poi’s during the Poi Song - Beat Magazine Melbourne Australia

"Mihirangi started life with a Musical Soul"

The world is full of musical prodigies, but Mihirangis got them all beat: this New Zealand born singer and activist got her on-stage start while she was still in the womb.

My mum was a professional singer and my dad was a professional drummer, she relates, on the line from her Melbourne, Australia home. And Mum has always told me that she went into labour with me while she was on-stage and that my dads kick drum was setting off the labour pains.

She laughs, amused by the notion that if shed been in more of a hurry she might have made her singing debut earlier than anyone could have foreseen. As it was, she took to showbiz right away.

Mum and Dad toured when I was little, so I got to travel with them up until I was seven or eight years old, she explains. At that point, however, her mother a first-call R&B singer and session vocalist decided to settle down, and so began the second stage of Mihirangi’s musical education: learning the traditional songs and dances of her Maori clan. Another seven years passed, and then it was time for this born performer to take to the stage on her own or, more precisely, as part of a series of Australian bands.

Because I idolized my mum, I found it very hard to find my own path in music, she says. I tried all sorts of things: I was in rock bands, I was in grunge bands, I’ve been in a cappella groups. And then one day I just said, This is crazy. I really need to find myself; I need to find out who I am?

A chance encounter with Youssou NDour helped clarify Mihirangis ambitions. Just from having a conversation with him, I realized that I really, really wanted to have my music be heard, she contends. So I went away from that meeting and wrote a five-year plan and, amazingly enough, its all come to fruition.

Its not entirely coincidental that NDour should prove to be one of Mihirangis mentors: like the Senegalese superstar, the Maori musician is interested in fusing her cultural heritage with the sounds of American soul and the tantalizing possibilities of electronic sound.

Maori music is very much the core of what I’m doing, she says. My spirituality is based on Maori spirituality, on the religious beliefs that I have in my culture, and that is at the very core of my music.

Today, however, Mihirangi seems more concerned with educating and uplifting her audience than trading on her aboriginal roots. Many of her songs have to do with female empowerment, while others call for a more general shift in consciousness a stance she shares with another island songwriter, Jamaica’s Bob Marley.

I was definitely brought up on reggae, and I had a favourite Bob Marley tape that I played as my blankie, she says, laughing. There was a whole year where every night Id go to bed listening to this one Bob Marley tape, until it got all stretched and you couldn’t comprehend what he was saying. Still, yeah, I think it rubbed off.

But when Mihirangi returns to the Vancouver Folk Music Festival which hosted her local debut in 2001, as part of the Stiff Gins she wont be playing reggae music. Nor will she be singing Maori songs. In fact, she won’t even have a band. These days, the singer has perfected an innovative solo show that relies on digital technology to produce warm, soulful soundscapes, all crafted with her voice alone.
What I’m doing live is that I use a loop pedal to lay down a melody, she explains. Ill harmonize that, add a vocal bass line, and then Ill beatbox and use vocal percussion over top of that as well. Its all done live, and then I sing over top of it. And sometimes Ill do a little dance.

It’s a scary process, in that you’re very exposed. It’s very raw, and there is no room for mistakes. But with that rawness, I like to think I’m a bit like that in my personality. I like to be really open on-stage, so people get the picture straightaway. And the biggest thing about the solo show I’ve been doing is that it’s really brought me into the centre of myself. I’ve found out what my strengths and weakness are, and in the process I’ve also gotten to express myself fully.
Her weaknesses, she adds, are coffee and chocolate. She’s more reticent about her strengths, but they’re not hard to discern. Between her appetite for musical adventure, her Maori roots, and her political convictions, she’s the perfect model of a 21st-century shaman and, very possibly, a future star. - The Georgia Straight - Vancouver (Front Cover & Editorial)

"Mihirangi lets Jesse Shrock into the Kulcha Loop…"

The way my interview with the soon-to-be-dubbed 'Kiwi sensation' Mihirangi takes place - half shouted over the din of the Corner Hotel public bar - is not dissimilar to the position the artist sees herself in, in relation to the world's media. Amidst the plethora of loud, abrasive talk, Mihirangi’s putting forward a singular, strong and constant idea of world unity. And because of her utterly unique musical vision, and the cross-cultural harmony that she herself represents, it will be heard.

Mihirangi has just returned from overseas, where her one-woman show was the toast of the Canadian festival circuit. From the set she delivers that evening it's not hard to see why. At times, worldly, at times other-worldly, Mihirangi is somehow able to be both an activist and a dreamweaver. Some parts of her set - don't ask me how - have both feminine tenderness and grrrl power attitude.

The key to Mihirangi's sound is her loop pedal, a technological marvel that allows her to layer her own musical parts on top of one another, making her a solo artist in the truest sense of the word. "It was a total leap of faith, just diving into the deep end," Mihirangi says of this re-invention. "I was in a seven-piece band, and was finding it really hard. I think the reason for that was that I always wanted to be a solo artist, just to learn more about myself and my boundaries. My guitarist had a loop pedal, which I'd seen other artists using before. So I borrowed it off him, played with myself in my bedroom for a week - ha-ha! - and the next thing you know, 1 had a solo loop show. And what was going through Mihirangi's mind the first time she performed live in this manner? "Oh, shit!" she laughs. "Well, you've got to be really focussed. The main thing with the loop pedal is timing. You can't afford to be even a bee's dick out, because if you are, you lose the groove. Also, your pitching has to be absolutely perfect, because you can’t delete it and once it’s in there it’s in there! I’ve worked hard at getting this show sounding really good. I really have. And 'I think it has paid off."

Mihirangi was almost literally born into music; while her mother was on stage nine months pregnant, the thud of her father's kick drum apparently induced labour! Though she was exposed to western pop and soul from a very young age, Mihirangi also had the privilege of a cultural education much closer to her Maori roots than previous generations of her people. "My mother was a professional musician," Mihirangi relates. "She sang and played with people like Joe Cocker and Gladys Knight, and she took me on the road until I was seven years old. Then when I was seven, my mum settled down and I went to a Maori school. The original Marae were re-opened, and we were the first children in two-hundred years to start learning on that Marae. And I learned my culture for about seven years in that area and in that school. And I build my music around that now. There's a huge amount of substance to my musical upbringing, and I am lucky to have that. Like, humbly blessed."

The traditional chants and calls of Mihirangi's tribe, the Ngati Maniapoto, are proudly on display in her debut Kulcha Nation, but through a prism of innovative modern production techniques. Asked if such a fusion requires some degree of compromise, Mihirangi gets straight to the heart of the matter. "Well, the compromise was done 200 years ago," she says. "Traditionally, Maori songs were sung in monotone and microscales. Consider, for example, how Ragas are done in quarter tones; in Maori culture there's tones in between that so it's very much about calling sounds, and internal crying.
When the Europeans arrived, they basically took all the traditional songs, and adapted them to European melodies. So the culture is becoming so much stronger now that that compromise is slowly, slowly, balancing back. And hopefully, we can still capture the essence. The Maori are very lucky; we can still capture the essence of where we came from."

Coming from an indigenous culture that has emerged from colonialism with its sense of identity intact, Mihirangi feels some sense of obligation to voice support for indigenous peoples who are, in this sense, less fortunate than her own. "There's a huge solidarity between the Maori people and the Aboriginal people of Australia," she says. "They have it much worse than we do as a culture. In New Zealand, the indigenous culture is obviously a lot stronger, and a bit more mainstream, whereas here it's just not at all. I like to think that my culture has made offers of support in some way, to say 'We are here for you'. All over the world, there's gatherings like 'Spiritual Unity of the Tribes', where elders from all the indigenous cultures from around the world get together and tell their stories. It's a huge uprising and a fantastic revolution. But it sort of feels like the amazing power in the culture of Aboriginal Australia is yet to be fully recognised. I really hope that it happens, sooner rather than later, because 1 think that it will help to save the environment. And for us as human beings, it will help save our damn conscience, anyway."

The strongest ideological theme of Kulcha Nation, however, is a plea for the world to open up, and a warning against the self-perpetuating effect of fear. Mihirangi's manifesto is contained in her album's title track, in which she rebukes the scare-mongering in the media, and in the self-explanatory track World Citizen. Yet, as she discovered while abroad, the line to walk between setting an example as a world citizen, and simply being preachy, is a very fine one. "I mean, who the, fuck are we to turn around and say 'I want to save the world', if we can't save our selves?" Mihirangi poses. "I think what you can do is go around the world and inform, and set an example. But you can't go around pointing the finger and saying. 'It's them and us' or anything like that because that just creates more conflict. And you know, I catch myself out. Sometimes it's hard to pull out of your ego. Especially in the environment that we live in. In a first-world country, it's all about the ego. "I think one of the main things I would like people to know is that we have to have faith and just believe that the world is going to change for the better. Because if we imagine it and practise and do it, then it will happen. And stop watching the fucking crap on TV! I mean, just the idea of sitting and learning your life background from a box ... Boring!" - Beat Magazine Melbourne Australia




“The title track of the album, Kulcha Nation," she explains, "I wrote that sitting watching the news programs on television and writing down oil the main phrases from what was being said with regards to the Iraqi War, and then just adding my opinion of it, and how the media was glorifying the war in a way, Obviously the information that we get from 'The Box' is not exactly what's really going on, as we oil should know - you only have to go to a protest march in Australia and you'll generally find that the smallest thing that has nothing to do with the march is the thing that the media will focus on,"

That said, Mihirangi is not above using the power of television if it's for a worthy cause, and recently recorded a version of Nina Simone's Feeling Good for an ad campaign In Queensland. The single will soon be commercially released and sold as a fundraiser for Youngcare, an organization that provides a dignified and relevant lifestyle for young people requiring nursing care. Having spent her childhood growing up traditionally within the Maori culture in New Zealand and touring with both her musician parents, it was inevitable she would not only be politically but also ethnically aware as a songwriter.

"The last album that I did [Moemoea Reka (Sweet Dreaming)] was all original songs in traditional language and was aimed at a New Zealand audience, so with this new album, aimed at an Australian audience, I've written a mixture of both and, out of respect for my own culture and of course the Aboriginal culture, I felt I should write about the plight of the black fellas here."

As it happens, Mihirangi has had some pretty direct experience of Australia's Indigenous culture, both contemporary urban and more traditional, through her brief stint as a member of the Stiff Gins, "I guess what I'm trying to do with my music is get points and Issues across that give a perspective from a grassroots level from the experience of going out there and really finding out the truth, as opposed to just sitting there and watching the box which realistically just dumbs the nation down,"

Anyone who has seen Mihirangi performing will know that, first of all, for all the political content in her lyrics, she laughs a lot, and secondly that her sound is built around an effects pedal that allows her to build up beats as well as harmonies in ever increasing layers, not exactly the easiest of things to capture in the studio,

"What I wanted was something that represents what I'm doing now live, my solo stuff, so first of oil I toured for three months and road-tested and refined the songs to see which ones I'd put on the album. Then I came back to Melbourne and the day I got back I was in the studio for about two weeks solid.

"We used ProTools but we did a couple of songs live, like Slave, one of the first tracks we did. What we did was recorded the loop pedal but we also recorded exactly what I was doing on a separate track, and then we fine-tuned the loops. But then we found out there was no point using the loop pedal when we can create our own loops in the studio anyway, which created a better quality sound, So the album isn't exactly what I do live, and we've added percussion and stuff, but it is definitely the live element and energy."

And that energy on stage is delivered with the most irresistible of beats. Mihirangi is obviously a girl who loves percussion and delivers it every way she can, from thumping her guitar to beatboxing through her loop pedal. "I love percussion! My dad was a drummer and I was pretty much brought up in his bass drum - I used to sleep in his bass drum when I was a kid! Not when he was playing!!"

From Sydney, Mihirangi will be heading up to Woodford to participate in a huge indigenous festival called The Dreaming, and then heads off to Canada to tour the festival circuit through July and August. - The Drum Media Sydney Australia

"Mihirangi - Hard name, easy listening"

There isn’t much that New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Mihirangi hasn’t done in the last couple of years. A ridiculously ambidextrous solo artist who’s music draws from the deep spirituality of the Maori culture, she’s sung at the helm of a three-hundred-plus choir, hosted a Maori Haka at the Melbourne International Arts Festival, and worked in television for three years as host of “Noise TV”. I spoke to her on the 24th of April about roots music, playing with Alice Cooper, and why she shouldn’t be called a feminist…

Musically, what have you been doing in the last month?
In the last month, travelling madly launching an album.

To what extent do you call yourself a “roots” artist?
I think, if “roots” is meaning “organic”; I’m “roots-y” in a sense of “tribal”. I was brought up doing traditional stuff, so I have an element of traditional inflections in my music, I guess. I think that’s what they mean…

Well it’s thrown around so much that it’s hard to tell these days…
I know! It’s so generalized now! They should come up with something better than that, but hey… (Laughing)

Do you find that there are consistent themes in your songwriting?
Yeah, definitely. Most of my lyrics are conscious lyrics in the sense… the way I feel about is, if I’m going to be up there in front of an audience – and the world’s so fucked at the moment – that you’ve got to take every opportunity that you can to make some sort of difference with substance.

What do you think some of those themes might be?
Well, one song that I’ve written in particular – “Kulcha Nation” – is about the war in Iraq. Another song called “Breathing” is about being at one with our environment. My main passion is actually writing about women’s position in the world. As in, the environment that we live in as women in ninety percent of the world… well, where I’m from anyway… it’s a minority. And we are a very privileged minority, and even then the privileged minority still have a long way to go as far as real equality goes. Not feminism – fuck feminism! That stuffed everything up for us really in some sense. Even though a lot of work has been done for us, if anything it’s made men out of women; women have become a bit too masculine. And ninety percent of the world is made up of third-world environments where women are oppressed. And religion itself has made them second-rate citizens. So I write a lot of stuff about that, and I’m very passionate about that issue.

Talking about definitions of “roots”, what do you think it is about New Zealand’s culture that, musically, sets it apart from other places – Australia for instance?
Well I think, in New Zealand, the culture is obviously a lot stronger. It never used to be. Even twenty years ago, it wasn’t as strong as it is now. But now, the culture is really strong.

Do you think your music reflects the Maori culture in any way?
Definitely. I was brought up in an environment where I learnt traditional songs and dances. And I was brought up in a Maori community, for quite a long time. So the influence, as far as the organic sound… the tribal sound – the spirituality of my culture comes through in my music, for sure.

You were born in New Zealand, and you moved to Melbourne. Why move?
I did that because I wanted to have a career in music. The music industry back home… even though it’s booming now, it wasn’t. If it wasn’t for “Lord of the Rings”, and movies like “Once Were Warriors”… Music wasn’t really a happening thing there; not many places to play, the audiences weren’t that big. And I was very ambitious! (Laughs) I thought, “I’m going to go and get inundated with more of it”, I guess.

I’ve read that you’ve played with Alice Cooper. This can’t be THE Alice Cooper…
(Laughs) I supported him! My music since then has changed… - Sauce Magazine Tasmania Australia

"Review of Kulcha Nation - A vibrant splash of Maori nu-folk"

Mihirangi (pronounced “me-hee-rung-ee”) is a young New Zealand-born Maori singer-songwriter... A former member of all-female groups Stiff Gins and Akasa, her vocal style can be favourably compared to Ani DiFranco’s – it’s a seductive combination of gutsy Maori strength and centred musical purpose. With a solid reputation on the local festival circuit and two independent EP’s already under her belt, Kulcha Nation is Mhirangi’s first proper album and a good international entry point for her creative repertoire.

The opening ‘Poi Song’ – a tradition-based, percussion-driven Pacific chant – quickly segues into her more original material. Lyrically concerned with indigenous, environmental and spiritual issues, Mihirangi also wears her political heart on her sleeve for the beat-boxed title-track, a verging-on-hip-hop version of Akasa’s ‘World Citizen’ and the sympathetic ‘Welcome to Our Country’, which features spoken commentary from Aboriginal activist Isabel Coe.

Often looping her vocals into carefully multi-layered harmonies, Mihirangi’s most moving moments surface when she sings purely in Maori (‘Tena Kautau’) or successfully alternates it with English, as on the lovely ‘Deeper’. The album has exceptionally clean production, and percussionist Greg Sheehan deserves special mention for his propulsive, non-intrusive backing.

Cooking up an imaginative blend of contemporary vocal techniques and strong melodies, Mihirangi’s innate respect for tradition continues to be her secret ingredient. Kulcha Nation offers up a rich cultural recipe that provides listeners with substantial audio nourishment. It’ll be worth keeping an eye and an ear on this young woman’s musical development.
- Songlines UK

"CD Review Mihirangi “MOEMOEA REKA""

CD Review Mihirangi “MOEMOEA REKA” (Sweet Dreaming); “Listening to the many and varied CD’s that I’m asked to listen to, I always find it refreshing to hear well thought out lyrics and music from the new generation joining the music industry in their pursuit of a musical career. Even with the best intentions, unfortunately, either the artist doesn’t have the lyrical strength or alternatively doesn’t have the musical depth required to hold them in good steed when releasing their first CD. I’m so pleased to have been introduced to a young artist who through the wonderful understanding of her culture has managed to not only have depth of lyrics that would lead you to believe she’s a lot older than she really is, her passion for words, music and her culture shine through and listen only for a minute and you feel refreshed, empowered and rejuvenated.

Mihirangi is a young woman who embodies all that we hope for in our future leaders, her desire to not only learn, understand and embrace her culture, but to share that knowledge through the lyrics and music on “MOEMOEA REKA” is more than a gift to us all, it’s an opportunity for all to have a greater understanding and respect for our own cultures.

This amazing five track CD draws you in from the very beginning with the most beautiful language songs, the journey into another language and culture takes you away, your senses will become totally absorbed from track one, “E Te Ariki”, then onto track two, although it’s very hard to choose a favourite song off this five tracker, if you made me choose then it would be this one, “MOEMOEA REKA” (Sweet Dreaming), the chanting at the beginning of the song will draw you in completely including an intricate well thought out guitar solo and the very seductive voice of Mihirangi, listen for yourself and you will soon understand. Tracks three and four, “Pakanga Kore” (No War) and “Mapu Ha” (Breathing), again are performed in Mihirangi’s Maori language but “Mapu Ha” lends it’s self to a very Brazilian sound that leave you longing for tropical afternoons on the beach with the smell of coconut oils and no other soul to be seen. “Home” (Papa Kainga) is listed as the fifth track, but be careful because there’s a hidden track which is a lot more funkier than the first five, but really, it’s a little glimpse into the diversity of this very talented artist.

Having seen Mihirangi perform live with just a voice and guitar, you can only shake your head with disbelief at just how talented this young woman is. I would recommend that you not only buy a copy of this CD for yourself, but buy two because it’s an opportunity to have an un-spoken bond with some-one special you care about, this would be the ultimate gift of intimacy to share with anyone, your children, your parents, your soul-mate, or just a dear friend who could do with a vacation, this CD will take them on a journey of discovery, I for one can’t wait for the album.” - SBS - Melbourne



By Alastair Ross

Talking to an artist about their work and inspirations can sometimes be like pulling-teeth – tense silences and gritted teeth by both parties – so it was refreshing to speak to a young woman with a passion for life, her family and the things that drive her music. Frequently our chat is broken up by her wickedly infectious laughter and less pleasantly my non-smoker's cough (thanks winter).

So this is how the journey of Mihirangi began, in her own words; "I was a young teen on a downward spiral in the community and all I really wanted was a musical career. I was in a bad scene so I wanted to get out of that. I thought if I pulled myself out of that I'd escape where I was heading. At the time I didn't feel having a musical career was going to happen here so my mum encouraged me to head to Australia."

So after time spent in various musical ventures from an acappella set-up to a 12-piece band, which became very hard to get together to play live, Mihirangi borrowed an effects pedal and suddenly her musical spirit was no longer tempered by the constraints of others. I asked Mihirangi how the live set-up works for her as it's hard to get an idea of how she is pulling off that full-band sound. Turns out she was doing the 'Liam Finn' before he was. "Live it's purely by myself. I have a loop pedal, I record myself live, nothing is pre-recorded. I'll sing a melody, beat box, vocal wah-wahs and create riffs with my voice to create a big band sound." And she isn't adverse to starting her shows with a traditional Maori welcoming song or leaping off the stage into the audience to dance spontaneously with her poi. "I'm a wannabe dancer, (laughs contagiously) I wanted to be a dancer before I was a musician, I do a it of long poi in some of my songs". Dancing at her shows is certainly something she welcomes, "I do prefer people to be dancing, but if I'm doing my traditional stuff I'll tell people to shut up," she laughs.

Mihirangi hopes to stay in New Zealand for the foreseeable future, though she has had offers to travel overseas again, having wowed international audiences across the globe. "I'm in the process of working with some different NZ bands and producers trying to find someone to produce the album and co-write material. I'm hoping to stay, I want to stay. I miss my family and I really want to ground myself here, see the local bands. I want to have a he home flavour."

Last but not least, (I could happily have spoken to her all night) I ask if she feels being bi-lingual assists the creative process? "I think the answer to that is that it allows you to have a different perspective. The Maori language has it's own spirituality, it's own essence, in a way it does allow you another tool." Mihirangi ends the interview with a quote that could serve well any new artist entering the music business, "Take a compliment, but don't swallow it." Wise words from a charming and intelligent talent, we should not allow to slip from these shores again! - The Groove Guide- New Zealand

"Kiwi Soul Mixtape"

Mihirangi is the elder of the young soul singers. She is also the most forward as an activist. She is a major force in the environmental movement who has put her body on the line fighting to save the whales and for other environmental issues.

Her cultural work is uncompromising, anti-capitalist and resolute in being both an agitator for change and an advocate of personal responsibility. Just the titles alone of the four selections from her debut album, Kulcha Nation, make clear her vision and commitment to struggle: “Slave,” “Breathing.” “Kulcha Nation” and “World Citizen.”

The real surprise is that Mihirangi is as deep artistically as she is committed politically. All the voices you hear are her. While many, many singers have the ability to sing in different ranges and to over-dub to give a choral effect with beautiful harmonies, Mihirangi goes all of them one better—Mihirangi can do the multiple voice thing live in performance.

She uses samples and foot pedals. Incredibly building a song from scratch in front of the audience, looping her voice, beat-boxing, harmonizing and adding percussive accents, and then layering the loops, sometimes six and seven samples deep, and then singing on top of the vocal bed.

Most of the clips just leave you in awe.

Some of her work sounds like Sweet Honey In The Rock, all of her work is impressive. Getting hold of her work has not been easy but hopefully digital distribution on the internet will make it easier in the months ahead to acquire her music. Meanwhile, here is a taste on this Kiwi Soul Mixtape from Breath of Life.

- Kalamu ya Salaam on www.kalamu.com




Mihirangi’s latest long player is a 13 track album beautifully titled ‘Somebody Shake The Tree’ (which is exactly what Mihirangi does as an artist). It is a beat-driven tapestry of pure vocal and lyrical percussion, bass and beat loops with the addition of live drums, guitar, keys and taonga puoro.

A dynamic musician whose live concerts are in freestyle form, as in, made up on the spot, Mihirangi has captured some of her favorite improvisations and loops from these experiences in the studio and now, Mihirangi has released these on her much-anticipated 2nd album - ‘Somebody Shake The Tree’. From heavy gritty baselines to sweet symphonic harmonies, this album will move and inspire you with her universal messages.

Produced, engineered and mixed by Mihirangi & DJ Katch and mastered by Chris Chetland at Kog, ‘Somebody Shake The Tree’ was made possible trough Mihirangi’s crowd-funding platform ‘Future Producer’ and Creative NZ.


Demanded by and created for her fans, “Improvised, Looped & Live” has 9 tracks that capture the brave and powerful raw performance of “the Queen of Loops”. Each track is an improvised, never-written-before creation performed live in front of her audience during concerts in '08 & '09 at venues and festivals across Aotearoa (NZ) and Australia. Revealing, daring and real this CD is worthy of reputable respect for the rapport and intimacy Mihirangi shares with her audiences, for her mastery of “live” loops, for the entertainment and performance, the extraordinary vocal range and power, and Mihirangi’s dynamic and original sound. The courage and fearlessness that Mihirangi is adored for is packed into a punch and delivered on disc and the CD cover also features original artwork by Mihirangi. A warning to purists or perfectionists... "Improvised Looped & Live" also features the ambient concert noise of the Random Punter Orchestra.

*** NO WAR ***

An EP, with the title track Recorded and Produced by Andy Baldwin in New York. NO WAR catches Mihirangi's live-loop appeal with an infectious energy and groove while making her cross cultural ideals heard. NO WAR includes 4 other tracks; 1 unreleased and 3 "live" that express the power and fullness of MIHIRANGI's live shows.

*** TUI ***

This extremely limited edition compilation CD of works from KULCHA NATION and MOEMOEA REKA features original TUI artwork by MIHIRANGI. TUI was a gift for 500 of the Worlds leading environmental and active film and music industry attendees at the Sea Shepherd 30th Anniversary Benefit Concert MIHIRANGI performed at in Los Angeles.


Released in 2006 MIHIRANGI's debut album showcases songs from her live show incorporating beat-boxing, poi, vocal harmonies, hand-percussion, koauau, acoustic guitar, vocal bass lines and vocals in English and Maori. MIHIRANGI's live show is showcased in a studio form with additional percussion by NAT & CARLO of BLUE KING BROWN and GREG SHEEHAN.


Six track EP of MIHIRANGI's originals sung mainly in Maori and produced by ANDY BALDWIN. This has a Pacific R&B sound featuring production work of JAN SKUBISZEWSKI of JACKSON & JACKSON, acclaimed Flamenco Guitarist RICHARD TEDESCO, African vocalist VALUNGA KHOZA, and Melbourne's Kapa Haka Group NGA MANU WAIATA. This CD also includes a beautiful acoustic version of Home. Funded by Te Mangai Paho this EP was produced to encourage a wider use of Maori Language in Aoteroa.





Bookings email: mihirangibookings@gmail.com

“She's just brilliant, in the 30 years I've toured the world I've never seen anything like her" 

Ali Campbell UB40

"...infectious joy oozes from her very being, and captured our hearts... one of the most exciting, original and conscious solo performers of Australasia... an honour to watch” 

The Agency Victoria Australia

Māmā Mihirangi is NZ's Artist Activist and Internationally renowned Queen of Live Loops. The Māreikura (meaning - female supernatural beings and nobly born women) are her two traditional & contemporary Māori dancers. Mihirangi of Ngāti Rākeiora is a musical master in the art of song-writing & live-looping. From Aotearoa (New Zealand) this is a production of indigenous earthy feminine power and inspiring cultural identity. Māori world roots music & dance with live loops that is high energy, graceful, fierce and uplifting.  An emotional expression of traditional and contemporary dance and instruments, with spiritual beats, deep bass and layers of intricate harmonies, spine-tingling calls and traditional chants in Māori and English.

With a tool-box full of musical magic Mihirangi weaves live loops of vocals, intricate harmonies, tāonga puoro (traditional instruments), guitar, keyboards, percussion with beat-boxing, drums samples and deep bass with lyrics that poetically speak to indigenous and environmental issues. An artist-activist and a born entertainer, Mihirangi’s naturalness, infectious laughter and her authenticity means she doesn’t take herself too seriously. The refreshing aspect of her performance is the love and joy she has of live-improvisation and spontaneous crowd participation, her fearlessness and inclusivity draw her audience into the heart of her performances and into to the spirit of the magic she creates.  Her grounded perspective has been the spring-board giving her the strength that has taken her talent and passion many times around the world.

This year Māmā Mihirangi has performed at the Commonwealth Games and has just completed tours in Europe, Canada and New Zealand. Having toured internationally on the festival circuit for many years Mihirangi introduced her country to the art of live looping becoming a household name with her album “Somebody Shake The Tree' hitting the charts.  She has inspired audiences and aspiring musicians across the globe and has been the toast of the International Festival market.  “We’re taking this new show on the globe circuit to inspire positive change through sharing our traditions in a contemporary way that celebrates indigenous values” Māmā Mihirangi.

Mihirangi is on the Executive Committee of the Global Alliance of Mother Nature's Guardians and she is a former Greenpeace and WSPA activist.  She teaches songwriting, performance & politics and gives singing, songwriting, looping and activism workshops.  She has performed for and with fellow artist activists Arrested Development, Lee Scratch Perry, Flava Flav, Michael Franti, Public Enemy, Alice Cooper, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Dixie Chicks, Pierce Brosnan and Martin Sheen. 

Band Members