Story at a glance

  • Lorde has rerecorded five songs from her most recent album in the Indigenous Maori language.
  • The Maori make up approximately 16 percent of New Zealand’s population, the singer’s home country.
  • The release comes less than a week prior to New Zealand’s Māori Language Week, which is Sept. 13-19, 2021.

New Zealand singer Lorde has rerecorded five songs from her most recent album in the Indigenous Māori language.

Lorde released her third studio album “Solar Power” late last month. Now, she has released 5 songs from the album in Maori under the new album title “Te Ao Mārama,” or “world of light.”

The Māori make up approximately 16 percent of New Zealand’s population, the singer’s home country. However, theMāori have lost much of their ancestral lands to Western colonization and continue to face discrimination, even on a political level.

“It felt really big when we were doing it,” she told the magazine Spinoff. “It was heavy. It was really emotional. I’d never had any writing or recording experience like it. It was really powerful.”


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The release comes less than a week prior to New Zealand’s Māori Language Week, which is Sept. 13-19, 2021.

The album was made with the counseling and aid of Māori elders and translators, and all proceeds from the album are being donated to two New Zealand charities: Forest & Bird and Te Hua Kawariki Charitable Trust.

Lorde acknowledges that some may consider her album an act of “white saviorism.”

“I’m white, however you want to interpret me wanting to engage with our Indigenous culture, that’s fair enough,” Lorde said, adding, “I know I’m someone who represents New Zealand globally in a way, and in making an album about where I’m from, it was important to me to be able to say: this makes us who we are down here. It’s also just a crazy beautiful language — I loved singing in it.”


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Published on Sep 09, 2021