Ariana Tikao’s Whaea album is a celebration of motherhood. All in Te Reo Māori, it draws upon contemporary music styles such as hip-hop and dub but with a strong emphasis on Māori chant and traditional sounds. A notable feature of Whaea is the inclusion of many taoka puoro (taonga puoro), traditional Māori musical instruments, performed by Richard Nunns.
Ariana Tikao’s Whaea is a lovely record that functions on many levels – on one level it’s a soft singer-songwriter disc full of good tunes but it’s much more than that – it’s a celebration of language and culture. Nick Bollinger, National Radio