'carry on the walk'
Friday 1st October 2021
This waiata was purely inspired by the mentorship of The Panthers and the vāhine, sisters in the movement, Melani Anae, Miriama Rauhihi Ness, Etta Gillon and more. Creating this song gave space for the artists to grapple with the Dawn Raid stories also told from their own mothers, grandmothers and aunties who settled in a land that promised much and in the same breath declined them. The conversation to 'Carry on the Walk' is the inevitable existence to take on the baton, to hold fast and carry on in the same strength, resilience and perseverance as they did. As Polynesian Vāhine today, we are forever indebted to them, we are 'Daughters of the Dawn'
"Initially we didn't have a solid plan to guide our collaborative journey. We met once with our friend and Music Artist Tommy Nee to help us flesh out ideas for this collaboration, we are so grateful for him, it was a refreshing jam session. Then the first lockdown happened in 2020 and the logistics of KALALA being in Melbourne saw us needing another avenue. KALALA alluded to BandLab, the idea was to use what we had, our phones. I uploaded an amateur beat stored in my back files and the girls ran with it. First La Coco added her layers, then I added a verse, then MARINA and then KALALA. Eventually we shelved the idea and carried on with our individual tracks with no intention to add the song to the album, until recently.
This was the final track to be completed on the album with help from friend and Music Producer Hamish Townsend and the extremely talented musicianship of Ayaluna El bacha from Ōtaki. Hamish seized an opportunity with a rejuvenated perspective. We decided to keep the original wav files from the girls vocals made on BandLab with Hamish fully re-mixing the beat, catering to the vocals. The end product speaks of the initial inspiration we first felt, the strength, resilience and perseverance of those before us. The creative process speaks of the significant allyship given in support of the journey, not dictating it. In return, it challenged me as the narrator of our own narrative to be ok not to compromise in any way. This is not a typical verse, chorus, verse, bridge, chorus type of song. This is simply us telling our own stories."
‘Carry on the Walk’ - Release date: Friday 1st October 2021
Directed and edited by Benji Timu (Footage by Benji Timu and Conan Fitzpatrick)
We are deeply honoured to have Benji Timu as our visual expert on this project. As an advocate himself having had initiated the Dawn Raid apology petition along side Josiah Tualamali'i with direct support and acknowledgement from the Polynesian Panthers and our mentor Alec Toleafoa, Aotearoa witnessed a milestone in our history. Benji, a humbled champion of his generation, fuelling the fire, passion inside of him, he continues to serve his people, his community. He is also a recognised creative and no stranger to the online world.
“If it weren't for the sisters I think a lot of us, the brothers in the group would either be dead or locked up.” - Tigilau Ness
They want to chop down, sell
Till the last tree fell
We will not slip
Into the lull of their song
The system will unfold,
If we hold true the origin
Of who we are and where we've been
We, footsteps laid with love
Carry on the walk
Footsteps laid with love
Carry on the walk