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In-house Sound | Aja + Mara Tk

Sat Oct 3rd, 2020

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AJA Wairere Ropata (Ngāti Toa rangatira, Āti Awa ki Whakarongotai, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Porou) is a mother of three, an industry professional in both Māori education and music whose talents and influences are to create and produce music in both te reo Māori and Pākehā.

An assertive and trustworthy musical navigator AJA, is a grounded and powerful musician, spirited by the everlasting; the elemental; the kindred balance. Her voice and musical arrangements have the ability to talk intimately to a wide audience. With pure and guided vocal tones she lures the listeners along a vast musical soundscape.

In Matariki 2019 AJA released her debut single 'Non-Handler'. During NZ Music Month 2020, AJA’s second single 'Kāwai' was released. It explores themes of creation and environmental awareness. It’s an uplifting ode to the element of water; a recount of human lineage and our relationship to water. A sweet dedication to wāhine, a reminder to us all.

AJA is now working on her debut album alongside producer, singer and musician Mara TK of Electric Wire Hustle. Listen out for her latest installation, a culmination of a life in music and dedication to her people, her vision and futures.

AJA will be joined by a cast of Wellington's finest - Riki Gooch (Drums), Daniel Hayles (Keys), Peter Riley (Bass), Te Kawa Herangi (Electric Guitar), Tola Newbery (Percussion), Louisa Williamson (Flute), and Mara TK (Everything!).


Mara TK (Ngai Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu, Tainui) is a producer, singer, musician, co-founder of Meetinghouse Records, core member of iconic Wellington act Electric Wire Hustle, relentless collaborator with the likes of Ria Hall, Lord Echo and Troy Kingi. Even more still from many varied musical and community-based projects.

In 2019, Mara TK and Cory Champion (aka Borrowed Cs) also became first-time finalists for the prestigious APRA Silver Scrolls Maioha Award for their waiata 'Te Kete Aronui'. RNZ describes it as “a soulful ballad infused with modern beats and strings, about the search for faith and wisdom.” Mara TK discusses how he wanted to inspire his daughters to uphold the kete/basket of knowledge as respect for people, te reo Māori, tikanga, atua, as well as present issues.

In 2018, Mara TK and Troy Kingi mentored Ōtepoti/Dunedin kapa haka group, He Waka Kōtuia, to create the album Te Mahi Tamariki. The kaupapa is to recognise the talent of their rangatahi, to create opportunities for the next generation, to “identify pathways to continue the work of their ancestors through music”, and to promote the value of te reo Māori.

Mara TK is a New Zealand Māori multi-disciplinary artist who uses his compelling voice, programmed beats, video media and choreography to express a deeply felt and unique vision and sonics. He has held solo performances at major national institutions such as, the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand and City Gallery Wellington; and at events in Europe and America such as Glastonbury Festival and SXSW in Austin, Texas.

There are many more projects, spanning across mediums and communities, exploring varied poetic and mystical and indigenous influences, but we get the sense that Mara TK, bluntly self-described “middle-class Newtown dad,” is channelling everything into being a good role model for his daughters.

Mara TK will be performing solo with his smooth-as-honey voice and multiple talents.

Nau mai, haere mai!

Tickets at

acoustic/solo, pop, soul/funk, AJA, Mara TK, Manawakura, Meetinghouse Records

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