Anika Moa writes about the journey she experienced making her new album of children's songs.
Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess/singer/songwriter called Anika Moa and she and her wife had twin boys called Barry and Taane.
The boys were the most handsome and wonderful gifts that any lesbian couple could have and they cherished them every second of every day.
Well. . . one night, Taane, the oldest of the twins (and the sookiest!) wouldn't go to sleep so Anika sang a song to him which made him very happy and he fell into a deep, contented sleep.
The next morning the amazing princess Anika had an idea to write and record a baby album, since she realised she was so good at baby whispering, but first she tested some of her songs out on her children. Each and every day when they rode their horses to the gardens and local park Anika would sing a song or two to gauge her sons' interest. Some songs were obvious non-contenders, like the one about the annoying duck who talk-quacked like a Seinfeld episode, or the one about who their real father is. It's not Temuera Morrison, that's for sure! Or Dan Carter. Sigh.
This labour of love was the thing she needed to get her out of her hopeless sadness, you see this year hasn't been too kind on princess Anika and the realities of being a mother/father and all the stresses that go with it exploded like a sad bomb around her. Not many people talk about how hard it is to have children, let alone twins, and she truly learnt the hard way. Her only option was to write to bring happiness in the lives of others even though she had hit the wall and felt isolated and alone in her heart.
What came from that are songs like Colours Are Beautiful, about a love of colours and the play of Maori and English words. ig, which is a trick title for this song because it is full on and makes you laugh, especially when Anika sings "Mama is singing! Put her to bed!", all in Maori of course.
Another of her favourites to write was Tahi, Rua, Toru, Wha. It is a number song but sounds so much cooler sung in the te reo. She made sure the album was party party at first but then sleepy and chillaxed right at the end so other mummies could skip to the go-to-sleep track when their children were screaming and crying in the back seat of the car. It works a treat, just ask Taane and Barry (evil laugh). She had also had enough of listening to The Wiggles. Hot Potato is OUT kids. Oma Rapeti is IN.
What Anika has discovered is a side of herself which is daring and brave and she realised she is not afraid to make animal noises from time to time. She has the love of her amazing sons and has been given a gift of making people laugh and she hardly even swears now. She is kind of not allowed to which she finds hilarious.
She doesn't need to sell this album because it speaks for itself in so many ways, it shows a woman changing in a way that will fulfill her heart and mend the broken strands and it will also make her money so that she can buy her sons flash things like PlayStation and Nike shoes (jokes!). It will also bring to light the need for this sort of educational album in each and every pre-school and creche in the country. Hint hint.
Music is love and love is my sons.
They all lived happily ever after (in their mansion made from money from the baby album).
Thank you for reading my story.
ANIKA MOA'S ALBUM
Songs For Bubbas is out now. She performs alongside Hollie Smith and Boh Runga at the Wine and Food Festival on Saturday.
- The Press