Years before Hinewehi Mohi teamed up with Jaz Coleman to form the world music power pop group Oceania, she released “Kia U”, a sweet te reo soul song. The production of the song is a little painful – clunky, cheesy synth and Santana-wannabe guitar, sounding like a backing track for a Cossie Club week night entertainer.
The video is simple but effective. Hinewehi is filmed in close-up, with the camera exploring her face. We also see other women, one holding a baby. This is cut with shots of native bush, and the occasional glimpse of the glamour of a modern city. The camera lingers on the ordinary – a logo, a fence, a skyscraper – seeing patterns that a passerby might not.
I’m missing out by not understanding the lyrics – they’re in te reo Maori. The occasional word jumps out at me, but I’m relying on other context, including the music video, for meaning.
It’s a nice video, but I’m so glad she got a better producer for the music.
Best bit: the slow pan over the gold dots of the old BNZ crest logo.
Director: Niki Caro
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… a westie girl is launched into pop hyperspace.