This week is Te Wiki o Te Reo, otherwise known as the celebration of the Māori language in New Zealand. In honoration, Lorde, a native Kiwi, has released an EP with five of the songs off of her ‘Solar Power’ album all in Māori. While rerecording the songs, Lorde recalls the experience as “powerful” and the “starting point” of a journey.
The EP itself is titled “Te Ao Mērama”, meaning “world of light.” In preparation, Lorde met with multiple translators, Māori artists, and elders. Translating English to a different language can cause words to change or lose their meaning to something else entirely. Lorde described that they would “take the translations to a more metaphorical place, or just invoke a figure that felt pertinent.” In the making of this project, Lorde acknowledged that there could be possible accusations of “white saviorism” and wrote in a message to her fans that “I’m not Māori, but all New Zealanders grow up with elements of this worldview.”
Songs featured in the EP are “The Path,” “Solar Power,” “Stoned at the Nail Salon,” “Fallen Fruit,” and “Oceanic Feeling.” Each retains the cool, lofty notes from the album, and Lorde sings the language beautifully and in a way that listeners can tell she put a lot of care and thought into every word.
All proceeds from the album will go to two New Zealand charities, Forest & Bird and Te Hua Kawariki Charitable Trust.
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