Ecstatic and buzzy.

That’s how Hātea kapa haka tutor Joby Hopa describes the moment he saw the official Queen Facebook page had shared the Whangārei group’s Te Matatini ki te Ao performance of Bohemian Rhapsody.

“It was buzzy. We were really pleased we got some really good, positive feedback from the actual artists themselves,” Hopa said.

The Pehiaweri Marae-based group’s te reo Māori cover of the hit Queen song first went viral in December last year through a collaboration with internet sensation William Wairua.

But when the group performed a full te reo Māori version of the song at national kapa haka competition Te Matatini ki te Ao, held at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium from February 20 to 24, they wowed crowds and a video of the performance that was shared online has to date been viewed more than 265,000 times on Facebook and more than 370,000 times on YouTube.

Hatea – Te Matatini 2019

Amazing harmonic voices of Hatea, with their rendition of Queen/Freddie Mecury's Bohemiam Rhapsody at Te Matatini 2019 ❤️

Maori Worldwide 发布于 2019年2月21日周四

On Friday, the official Queen Facebook page posted a link to the Queen website which included a video of the performance and an article which said the clip was sent in by one of Eminem’s crew who was in Wellington for the rapper’s performance earlier this month.

“It’s all good for the whānau and good for our culture. If the government or anybody wanted to really touch the people, then we are your group,” Hopa said.

The video has been seen by people all over the world with viewers from Germany, America and Australia commenting.

Hopa said this attention was positive for the group, Pehiaweri Marae, and Whangārei.

“It brings good profile for our marae and our whānau here in the north because a whole heap of bad press can be about us as Māori and Northland. But this brought international good press to the whānau,” he said.

Hopa said the feedback on the ground at Te Matatini was also positive.

“Everyone loved it, there were no bad comments. Everyone was just blown away, couldn’t believe it and then the hype of it all went viral so when we got back that’s all they were talking about.

“Even though we didn’t win anything, we left the festival as probably the most spoken about group, most viewed group, the one you will remember from this nationals.”

On Saturday March 23 at 6pm all three Northland roopu who competed at Te Matatini – Hātea, Muriwhenua and Te Puu Ao – will perform at Te Rangi Aniwaniwa for Sir Hekenukumai Puhipi, a Te Matatini life member, as he could not make it to this year’s competition.

Source: New Zealand Herald


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