When you wish upon a star

When your whole musical goal for the last twenty years has been to promote the music and culture of the South Pacific and you get that magical phone call from Disney and the Producer says - “ Think Lion King, set in the South Pacific 2000 years ago and we would like you to write the music” you can start to feel like you are in a Disney movie because things like this don’t happen in real life – But it did!

In June 2013, when the call came from Moana Producer Osnat Shurer, to discuss the Disney musical animated feature film set in Polynesia, Disney animations studios had already bought and studied all the Te Vaka albums and knew they wanted Opetaia on the team. Mark Mancina (Lion King, Tarzan and more) had been signed on for the score but Lin-Manuel Miranda had yet to be approached when we made our first trip to Disney animation studios to be immersed in the magic of Disney and the Moana story. Everybody we met was excited and inspired by this project. The Directors, John Musker and Ron Clements (Little mermaid, Aladdin and more), had already been on the project for a couple of years, had taken several trips to various South Pacific Islands and had fallen in love with the culture and the people of the South Seas. Opetaia was so excited, inspired and moved by the whole experience, he began writing “We know the way” on his way home from this first of many trips to the US.

Meeting Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse Opetaia at Disney Animation studios

 Opetaia meets John Musker and Ron Clement Opetaia Foai and Mark Mancina

 Disney animations studios in BurbankOsnat shurer, John Musker, Ron Clements, Opetaia Foai and Mark Mancina


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TE VAKA BEATS - 25.02.17

"TE VAKA BEATS" is a 10 track album of new percussion tracks written by Te Vaka's master percussionist - Matatia Foai and produced by Opetaia Foai.  "Te Vaka Beats"is for dancers, choreographers and anyone who loves log drums, skin drums and adventurous percussions. Mastered at "The Bakery" in LA by grammy award winning mastering engineer, Eric Boulanger you have not heard log drums like this before. First single coming soon.....                                                 

Te Vaka Beats - new album


NEW ALBUM!!! Release date - 25th February 

Click to hear interview with Matatia

Soundtrack album

Moana soundtrack Album                                                                                         

The Moana soundtrack album made it to No.2 on the Billboard 200 album charts and No.1 on the Billboard sound track album charts.

Other news





The making of Moana’s music [An interview with composer Opetaia Foa’i of Te Vaka]

Telling the stories of their ancestors, the voyagers and way-finders, through music


The Te Vaka singers arrived at Warners Brothers Recording Studios in Burbank to add the Te Vaka magic to the Moana soundtrack click here for pics and more




Great news - The Amataga album wins "Best Pacific Music Album" ( Recorded Music NZ award) and "Best Pacific Song" for Papua i sisifo" the song written in support of West Papua and their struggles for freedom.
Read more.


FROOTS MAGAZINE give "Amataga" a big "Thumbs up" read review HERE



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Hightlights of 2015 and what's up next



Disney D23 Expo announces Opetaia Foai as songwriter for the upcoming Disney feature film "Moana" 

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