Ia ora na Raumata! Can you introduce yourself please?
Ia ora na everyone! My name is Raumata Tetuanui, I am 18 years old and I am a singer and musician from Tahiti.
How did your love for music come to you?
I grew up in a family of musicians and singers who perform on the local scene. My father in particular passed on to me the taste for music and a lot of knowledge (learning instruments, mixing...).
Besides singing, what instruments do you play?
I play piano, guitar and ukulele. I write and I compose my songs myself, helped by my father for the texts in the Tahitian language.
Is it important for you to sing in Tahitian?
Yes, I think it's important to show the beauty of our language, both to the world and to young people here (who don't necessarily speak it). And then there are already so many artists who sing in English and French!
Have you had experiences abroad?
Yes ! I have already done several concerts in Japan and New Zealand. And once the pandemic is over, I would love to sing in Mexico and the Cook Islands.
What is the story of your title "Te Manu Hoata"?
The text was written in puamotu by Marotea Mariassouce, who sent us the song. I tweaked the tune a bit to make it more fit my musical style. Regarding the meaning of this song, it is the story of an impossible love. It's about someone who would like to be with a girl who is compared to a bird: hence the title "Te Manu Hoata", which means "the smiling bird".
At what age did you learn to play the ukulele?
Shortly after learning the piano, I started playing the ukulele just like that, to scratch a little. I got into it more seriously when I was 12, so I could play it on stage. In my opinion there is not really an age to start learning the ukulele. Anyone can play it because the chords are quite simple. As for children, I think you just have to wait until they have big enough hands to be able to do more chords! The ukulele is less complicated and more accessible than the guitar, especially because there are fewer strings!
Do you remember the first song you learned to play on the ukulele?
I think it was "Pahoho" by Te Ava Piti.
And what are your favorite songs to play on the ukulele?
Almost all my songs! And otherwise I really like to play "E He'e Te Va'a" by Te Ava Piti, "Faarii Noa Ra Te Vahine" by Tetuanui and a lot of songs in English. I think everything fits with the ukulele.
Any tips for ukulele beginners?
So already with regard to posture, you can hold the ukulele like a guitar or opt for the "Tahitian binge" position: you position your ukulele fairly straight, resting on your thigh. Then of course you have to tune your ukulele, using a tuning fork or phone apps. And last little thing to know: we count the wires of the ukulele from bottom to top!
Is it hard to learn ukulele typing?
I think it depends on the people, because some will naturally have the feeling with the music. For the others and those who are really beginners, I advise them to count the rhythm in their head ("1-2-3-4 // high-low-high-low").
Thank you Raumata! Last quick question, what are your plans for the future?
Right now I'm writing new songs, for a potential future album. We also plan to make a clip for one of my songs called "Honotua". Finally, I would like to continue performing on stage. Mauruuru!