Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 | News

Maya Angelou – Phenomenal Women
“…it’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,

“mihi – to greet, pay tribute, acknowledge, thank
rangi – day, sky, heavens, heavenly realm, heaven, weather, tenor, drift, tune, air, melody”

What would you expect at a poetry evening at the State Museum of Victoria? Wine?  Sure. Couches?  Possibly but only one at the front. A loop pedal?  Oh hell no, wait!  Is this the right room? How about the introduction to “the maori princess of funk” who’s rocking a diamond shape tãmoko in the centre of her forehead? I shit you not, this is what they call a ‘poetry evening’ these days and I lapped it ALL up.

Through hypnotic live looping, Mihirangi opened this particular poetry night with diversity and roots based flavor, with an original song, “No War”. Infusing Te Reo Maori and English languages effortlessly throughout her performance, Mihirangi’s infectious joy oozes from her very being, and captured our hearts at the answer to “how did you come about all of this?” “Oh, because I couldn’t get the band motivated to tour so I left them behind.”

Mihirangi’s mix of beat boxing, vocal harmonies, percussion, acoustic guitar and flute combined with potent lyrics addressing indigenous and environmental issues have ensured her place as one of the most exciting, original and conscious solo performers of Australasia. Her one woman show has been mesmerizing audiences all over the world, and she has quickly become a favourite at world festivals performing with the likes of K’Naan, Public Enemy, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Lee Scratch Perry, Blue King Brown, The Resin Dogs, Salmonella Dub and Ladi6.  This girl has got so much raw talent and enthusiasm it is an honour to watch her perform.

Mihirangi - Live at Womad

Performances at “Power to The Peaceful” Festival in support of social justice, non-violence, and environmental sustainability in San Francisco, to an audience of 60,000 people and to an audience of globally active artists including The Dixie Chicks, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Pierce Brosnan and Martin Sheen at their 30th Anniversary Benefit concert in LA.
Mihirangi’s credibility comes down to the fact she is so fucking honest.  With her music, her audience and herself and she sends a clear message to all that hear her…

“He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata,     he tangata, he tangata”
(-Sir Apirana Ngata)

“What is the greatest thing in the world? It is people. It is people, it is people”

I have been a bit biased to show so much love to our sisters of soul; however I’ve found solace within her Kulcha Nation lyrics.
Maybe you will too.

“You ignore your own responsibility
towards the world and your community.
Because you think that your life
has no guarantee
So this is a message from me to you and you to me…
No more repeats of boring warring histories.
Man that’s old school, education’s to blame.
We’ve gotta teach our kids about truth, compassion and change.
Don’t forget to mention our leaders redemption,
jubilation of cultural nations
with ritual and spiritual celebration”

You can check out more of Mihirangi at:


Right on!

miss P.

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