Bay singer Stan Walker's latest tune New Takeover is the "beginning of a new journey" in which the star says he is breaking out of the box which made him famous.
In an oblique reference to his debut hit Little Black Box which propelled him to stardom after his Australian Idol win in 2009, Walker, 26, said he was heading in a new direction.
"I don't like singing that song now - I have mixed feelings about it. It is not me, but I am grateful for where it took me, but now I feel that my new single is a true reflection of who I am and where I am now."
He said he was no longer so hung up on image, or what people thought.
"I've been held at bay for years as a result of the way I look, talk, sing, create and express my own truth."
The new song and its accompanying video drew inspiration from his cultural heritage with Walker riding a black horse across a beach carrying the Tino Rangatiratanga flag.
A team of dancers from Maori dance group Hawaiki Tu brought Walker's vision to life with movement and traditional dance.
"I felt a burning need to speak to and represent people of the land, this beautiful culture."
Women in the video were portrayed as "beautiful beasts" as Walker wanted to convey both the grace and power of women.
"They take on more than any man can. They are the life givers."
Walker, who grew up on a marae in Tauranga and later moved to Australia, said the song was birthed from his frustration of how Maori were perceived and treated. He said it was time to stand up to be proud of the Maori culture, and that of other indigenous peoples, which had been so oppressed.
"It's a song for all the underdogs, the minorities, the outsiders and the indigenous people who don't have a platform to speak or express who they are and their truth."
"We are a long way from where we need to be in society in terms of equality in race, gender, but at the same time we are on our way."
Walker said in his past he had been both bullied and bully but was using this experience to reach out to young people. Last month he emerged as the ambassador of a new app, Good2Great, which helps young people navigate real-life scenarios.
Walker said he would like to tour later this year, including a visit to Tauranga, but nothing firm was on the cards.
He had planned a New Takeover Tour last November but had to postpone it when his mother April Walker was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Walker said his mum was "all good" now, she still had a way to go but was healthier than she has been.
Walker's other passion is acting, with roles with previous roles in Mount Zion, Born to Dance and Hunt for the Wilderpeople. He has a Western movie The Stolen coming out in November and has just finished filming Chasing Comets.
Whether he was acting or singing, Walker said this was his time.
"I am more myself than ever. This is my coming of age where I am hopefully wiser, more honest and a lot more outspoken in every way."