Kaitaia has hosted some big names in the music business over the years, but the Kauri Arms Tavern will carve out as place in music history when Soulsista launches a new single, 'Lotta Love,' there on Friday next week (April 16).
Soulsista, who now lives at Ahipara (after a long stint in Auckland and 10 years on Waiheke Island), packed her bags on Tuesday for a quick trip to Auckland, to take part in the Pasifika Festival, but was looking forward to her special night in Kaitaia.
"After filming the music video clip at Waitangi this year I've decided to launch 'Lotta Love' here in the Tai Tokerau as a way of giving thanks to all who have been part of my journey," she said.
"I will be hosting an acoustic live launch party for my new single, which is all about encouraging love amongst our people again.
"As we all know, Covid has changed the way we do things, and at a time of uncertainty and division it's important to come together for a greater purpose - Jah Music!
"Music gifts life so much goodness and breaks down all barriers. My beautiful mother recently said, "Music is like a friend of the heart, a friend of the soul - you're never alone."
She had faced a trials of her own of late, but had met others who had been experiencing similar or even greater struggles, "so we invite you to come along and just be part of the experience. You may think it's not your thing, you didn't have the best time there once before, or you don't drink (neither do I), but there'll be kai mauri, so come and experience.
"Who knows what's going on for you and your whānau? All I know is that if you get there you will leave with your heart lifted and a new cloak of mana for yourself in life. You'll leave with a #LottaLOVE."
In the short time that SOULSISTA has lived in the North she has worked with a number of rangatahi and youth leadership/mentor organisations in Te Tai Tokerau, including Shine on Kaitaia, Urutapu and the Moko Foundation mentor programme. And she is far from amongst strangers, with whānau links to the Harrisons at Pawarenga/Whangape, the Kanara and Gage whānau at Te Kao and the Hoards whānau at Pāngaru.
"I connect with a vast range of people, and I am inviting you all to come together, as one people of the North, and enjoy the experience of Jah Music. It's time to return to the goodness. No more judgements, regrets etc. Let's fight for the right things in life - love. And sometimes we gotta fight for it to be present in our lives.
"We're the ones who have the say about how we live our lives. We're the ones who have control, not a pandemic.
"Ānei te karanga ki ā koutou katoa! My whānau, i-Friends... I'd love to see you all there. Let's celebrate the victory of a new day, especially after Easter, a time to leave all past hara, failures, regrets in the yesterday and live with a greater love for life. Nau mai haere mai whakatau mai. Bless us with the presence of your love."