Six60’s hit tune ‘The Greatest’ may have proven itself to be just that, as the waiata has been chosen as the official Te Matatini kapa haka competition theme song for 2023.
The song was chosen and translated into te reo Māori for this year's annual Māori performing arts festival.
Lead singer for the band, Matiu Walters explained to Te Karere the song is the perfect choice as it expresses what it means to perform at the highest level.
He said: "Once it's gone through that filter and translated, it makes a lot of sense, what kapa haka stands for, the process of working and striving and putting yourself in a position to win but also to fail.
"We've experienced those feelings and we know a lot of people out there do.”
We can also thank Musical Director Rob Ruha for his involvement in integrating the song into this year's festival alongside Matiu.
"It's about striving, encouraging people to have faith beyond what they can do and what they think they can achieve. It's about inspiring people to occupy places of inspiration. I think that is what Te Matatini is all about. That's what it's been about for the last 50 years,” said Ruha.
"It's inspired me and some of our greatest artists in the country. I think this is the perfect song."
The song will be officially released in February in the lead-up to Te Matatini being hosted in Tāmaki Makaurau, February 22 - 25.
Head of Te Matatini Operations, Wi Pere Mita told Te Karere: "We know that 40-odd teams will take the stage next month and they will bring with them their legacies, their stories their histories their marae. But we also want it to be a place for everyone else to feel they are part of the festival as well.”
"Music is the thing that unites everyone and through this theme song we want everyone to understand they have a place in this festival."
We can’t wait to hear the waiata and see the incredible mahi each kapa haka group have put in and will bring to the stage next month.