Fly My Pretties make their return with ‘Tō Kātua Whānau

Friday 02 September 2022

Fly My Pretties make their return with ‘Tō Kātua Whānau’, a Te Reo Māori version of their track ‘Family Tree’, translated and recorded as part of this year’s Waiata Anthems. The new single is released alongside an exclusive documentary streaming on TVNZ+, which follows FMP frontman Barnaby Weir on his journey to connect with his Māori heritage which was lost when his mother was adopted by a Pākehā family as a child. 

The track is recorded live in studio for the first time, and arrives both in Te Reo Māori and English this Friday, ahead of the documentary's launch on Monday September 5. 

Please get in touch with any requests to speak to Barnaby around the release of ‘Tō Kātua Whānau’ and the Waita Anthems documentary. 

The opening track on their very first album Live at Bats, ‘Family Tree’ is a track exploring whakapapa - “where do your roots run down, into the ground & into your family tree”. The track has been translated into Te Reo Māori with support from mātanga reo and iwi leader of the region, Wharehoka Wano.

A deeply personal track, this version features Barnaby performing all instruments, with Wharehoka providing percussion from the Parihaka drum, native to Taranaki. While capturing and staying true to the stripped back, rootsy feel of the original, ‘Tō Kātua Whānau’ sees whirring keys and group vocals combining with layered guitars, all courtesy of Barnaby. The Parihaka drum provides a constant beat throughout, providing the driving pulse of this hauntingly-beautiful waiata. 

The new version of ‘Tō Kātua Whānau’ arrives alongside a studio recording of ‘Family Tree’ in English, which follows on from the most-recent Fly My Pretties releases of The Studio Recordings Parts One & Two, presenting songs from the catalogue recorded in studio for the first time.

With the original waiata exploring the roots of his lineage, its story ties in perfectly to coincide with Weir’s personal family journey. The Waiata Anthems documentary provides a snapshot into the displacement both Barnaby and his mother feel, not knowing their own whakapapa and ‘Tō Kātua Whānau’ truly represents the Weir’s ongoing journey of discovery into their Māori heritage 

“Contributing to the Waiata Anthems project has been particularly meaningful, and a huge learning experience for my mother Judi and I, and is something that is very close to my heart.”