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Isaiah McIver - Musician

Māori musician and tutor Isaiah McIver has flipped from the corporate world to a creative life, and says ancestral connections shape his actions.

Isaiah started his career aiming to climb the corporate ladder in Auckland, but found the experience had frequent frustration and disappointment.
When he was 27, he relocated to Kirikiriroa to study music at Wintec’s School of Media Arts.

Isaiah said that as a creative person working out of Waikato, the local artistic culture is “super underrated” and feels “the best thing about this place, is networking connections”.

‘Being Māori’ is “everything to me” Isaiah said. He feels there’s a strong sense of belonging to the land as kaitiaki, which enhances the Māori creative perspective.  “Our art serves a spiritual and functional purpose” he explains, emphasising its inherent connection to iwi, whanau, and the whenua.

As a creative, he strives to find a balance between embracing external influences and ensuring his work authentically represents the unique cultural whakapapa/heritage that Māori have.

In the future Isaiah wants to continue to share his knowledge with like-minded individuals. His advice is to “know your pepeha, that will direct your creativity. So, knowing where you come from also gives you a place of belonging.”

Isaiah has accepted there have been life-changing challenges through his journey, some good, some bad. He said, “that's why I actually picked up te reo because I didn't know ko wai au? (who am I) or no hea au?” (where am I from)
When everything comes to a head, we look for answers, and “ancestors are a pretty good one”.

“Being Māori is everything to me”.
“know your pepeha, that will direct your creativity”.
“knowing where you come from gives you a place of belonging”
“the best thing about being a creative in Kirikiriroa is the networking connections”



Written by Rawiri (Ra) Keelan. Rawiri is a graduate of the Wintec- Te Te Pūkenga Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts. He is now studying the Graduate Diploma in Communication with a focus on media and creative writing, digital marketing, and communication. 

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