Jamie Greenslade's Te Reo ryhmes
Mon, 23 Jul 2012 11:05p.m.
By Jenny Suo
He was a self confessed menace at school and credits a fight in art class for introducing him to a new passion.
Jamie Greenslade, aka Maitreya, is part of well known Kiwi band The Babysitters Circus and Greenslade's love of Maori culture has the rapper releasing his own album in Te Reo.
“The syllable structure of Te Reo Maori lends itself to hip hop or rapping because it’s kind of like staccato, so for me, I find it really natural,” says Greenslade, a Pakeha who is fluent in Te Reo Maori.
He owes his ability to getting in trouble in art class when he was a teenager.
“I was the ring leader, throwing polystyrene at certain people and the teacher walked in and copped one,” he says.
“And in our school we got thrown into a third form class but mine was a Te Reo Maori class and I was immediately really excited.”
That excitement never wore off and now Greenslade is releasing an album called Aio, featuring songs in Maori, and then again in English.
Accompanying the music are color coded lyrics that separate the sentence parts.
The aim, he says, is to inspire young people to learn the language.
“For myself, I had a catalyst that made me want to learn, and I think that music can be that catalyst,” he says.
And while Greenslade has been busy with both the Babysitters Circus and his own album he says there are some perks to multitasking.
“I’ve managed to sneak some of my songs in live, which has been awesome and they’ve played some of the songs and they’re partying and loving it and they're singing it in Maori already.”
Aio will be released next month, and in the mean time he's shooting the album’s first music video at a secret location on Saturday.
Everyone's invited, just sign up on Maitreya's Facebook page.
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