Writing "We know the way"
December 2013 - January 2014
Opetaia had just spent 3 whirlwind days being immersed in the Disney process. He was moved and inspired, mind buzzing with ideas. Needing to be out of the city, to connect with the elements, the culture and the Moana story he returned to New Zealand to be with family, elders and the original inspiration for Te Vaka music. Grabbing his guitars and recording equipment he headed to Waihi, a rural area several hours out of Auckland to be surrounded by land and nature, animals and water to a small cottage with an old woodstove and an outside bathroom. Back to basics you could say. A sign was put up blocking visitors from using the driveway so there would be no interruptions to the songwriting flow. There he continued to write and record the demo for “We know the way” Those of us who were allowed to hear what was coming out of the studio knew that this was something special.
During the months in New Zealand many trips were made to Auckland recording song demos and ideas for the movie. Below laying down the vocals at Malcolm Smith's studio in Auckland amidst ancient Kauri trees really provided inspiration and helped to set the scene to sing vocals for "We know the way". The version Opetaia sang here looking out into the Kauri forest was the version that ended up in the movie.