Words

Teremoana Rapley: Of a Housegirl

Teremoana has been a part of the shaping of local youth indigenous television, politically-conscious music and community action for over 25 years.

An award-winning musician, a Hall of Fame inductee and collectively received the esteemed Taite Music Prize twice, Teremoana has spent the past two decades working behind the scenes in events, television and music simultaneously sharpening her story telling ability through both audio and visual means. She is a transmedia architect.

The concept for Daughter of a Housegirl came to her in dreams after the passing of her mother. This occurred simultaneously with finding her biological father, making her part Jamaican, a shock considering she was raised by her Pākehā father for the previous 40 years.

This project is in the exploration and discovery phase for Teremoana as she steps back into the limelight after choosing not to raise her then young family within the music and television industry she had experienced since stepping into the spotlight at age 14.

Now a grandmother of three, her youngest of four sons hitting his early 20s, Teremoana currently works as a creative economy lead strategist in local government and recently appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to music and television.

She also never stopped writing as she has always had a home studio and continued to travel the world touring as the DJ/back-up MC/backing vocalist for rap artist King Kapisi while always holding down a full-time job in television, events, music or community action.

Having played at festivals spanning from Glastonbury to SXSW to AWME to the South Pacific Arts Festival, as Kapisi’ DJ and tour manager, she realised that if she did start to release music again, she preferred an alternative route. These shows are part of that journey towards the launch and final part of the triptych, her debut album, Daughter of a Housegirl in 2022.

The focus on the Housegirl, relates to the discovery of her late mother as the family house girl. A position created for the purpose to serve and maintain a household, the lowest position. Teremoana is the Daughter of a Housegirl.

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