Emma Paki Profile

Gary Steel
5 Sep 2013

An amazing one-off in NZ pop culture, Emma Paki’s ‘System Virtue’ still sounds like nothing else, and its haunting tones still have the capacity to send shivers down the spine.

When it was released in 1993, few could decipher the cryptic lyrics, but the searing emotion was undeniable, as was the uniqueness of this Māori singer, born in Whakatane in 1968. It was something about the unfettered way she sang. No artifice, clear as a bell, straight from the heart, intense.

Show more +
ImageableImage
Hero thumb ep3
EmbeddableItem EmbeddableItem! type = Person
Hero thumb mqdefault
Interview and Century Sky performance on Balcony TV
ImageableImage
Hero thumb ep8
Emma Paki at the 1995 NZ Music Awards
ImageableImage
Hero thumb ep7
Emma Paki at the 1996 NZ Music Awards
EmbeddableItem EmbeddableItem! type = Person
Hero thumb mqdefault
Greenstone
ImageableImage
Hero thumb ep4
EmbeddableItem EmbeddableItem! type = Person
Hero thumb mqdefault
Emma Paki at Te Papa - Stand Alone, 2009
ImageableImage
Hero thumb ep5
EmbeddableItem EmbeddableItem! type = Person
Hero thumb 4065.key
System Virtue
ImageableImage
Hero thumb ep6
Emma Paki, 1995
EmbeddableItem EmbeddableItem! type = Person
Hero thumb mqdefault
Standalone (DAM N8V remix)
ImageableImage
Hero thumb ep2
APRA Silver Scrolls, 1997
EmbeddableItem EmbeddableItem! type = Person
ImageableImage
Hero thumb ep9
Emma Paki, Dave Telea (from D-Faction) and Matty J, 1996
ImageableImage
Hero thumb ep1
EmbeddableItem EmbeddableItem! type = Person
3 col el, class=LabelPerson::ActiveRecord_Associations_CollectionProxy
Labels:

Virgin


Tangata Records


Heartmusic

3 col el, class=ExternalLink::ActiveRecord_Associations_CollectionProxy 3 col el, class=RelatedPage::ActiveRecord_Associations_CollectionProxy 3 col el, class=Trivia::ActiveRecord_Associations_CollectionProxy
Trivia:

Paki is a multi-instrumentalist who asked for piano lessons as a young child, instinctively learned how to play guitar, and wrote her first song at the age of 10.

After she dipped out of the music industry, she waitressed and odd-jobbed, and eventually, spent a time living on the streets.

A new album was due at the end of 2010, but has yet to emerge.

Her first recording at 19 was Wanea Ngakau (Deep Emotion). Privately released, it received some student radio airplay.

System Virtue was voted the 40th Best New Zealand Song of all time by APRA members for the society's 75th Silver Scrolls Awards