Filmmaker Taika Waititi says he’s pleased with the response to his remade version of the Poi E video as he seeks to put the song back on top of the charts by Christmas.
“It’s great to see a NZ classic get another chance in the charts”.
The popular Patea Maori Club song, originally recorded in 1983, has shot back to prominence after featuring in Waititi’s smash-hit film Boy. Written by linguist Ngoi Pewhairangi and Dalvanius Prime, the song dominated the New Zealand music charts for 22 weeks, including four weeks at number one in 1984.
It briefly re-entered the charts last year following a Vodafone promotion and is the only Kiwi song to chart over three decades. Poi E was an accidental hit in its time. After failing to garner interest from record labels or commercial radio, an appearance on the television show Eye Witness saw its popularity soar. The new version combines scenes from the original with scenes from Boy.
“It’s nothing amazing, I cut it together in a day … It’s hard to do something too different with limited material but I think it captures the soul of the film and it’s pretty fun to watch.”
Waititi tweeted on Saturday night that he was putting the finishing touches on the new version.
He had earlier written: “I do declare! After 26 years the song Poi E (from Boy) is now back in the NZ top 40! Let’s try and get it to #1 by Christmas!”
A re-enactment of the Poi E dance in Wellington’s Manners Mall is being organised by GSL Network, the company that made the website for Boy. The time and date for the mass-dance has not yet been released. Poi E appeared to run out of puff this week after it dropped to 22nd place on the Official New Zealand music chart, released today. It had previously peaked at number 19. Dalvanius Prime’s family had earlier said they welcomed the song’s new found success and hoped to set up a trust in his name to help promote Maori music.