Pianika “Polly” Duncan
Pianika “Polly” Duncan, a mother of two, is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was born and raised in Ngaruawahia, New Zealand.
The 26-year-old singer-songwriter comes from a musically inclined family and has been writing music for as long as she can remember. She is on a mission to bring “goodness” to the world through her singing. She says, “Music is my absolute passion. I love to write inspirational music and I love listening to anything that moves my heart and soul.”
Polly was nominated for Best Māori Female Solo Artist for the 2017 Waiata Māori Music Awards. For Māori Language Week, she released her first music video, “Bring Mana to your name,” directed by Rhys Duncan. She explained, “’Mana’ means pride, strength, power and respect. It’s about bringing those qualities to your name by knowing who your ancestors are and where they come from.” She says, “the song is about inspiring powerful change.”
The song, “Bring Mana to Your Name,” was inspired by her love for family history and is sung in both her native Maori language and English. She told LDS Liviving.com, “I wrote this song to inspire people to live up to their potential, to make good and careful decisions as the choices we make in this life reflect the names of our ‘tupuna; (ancestors) and our descendants to come and to be proud of who they are and where we come from.” The inspiring song won third place in the E Tū Whānau song competition.
Polly says that her biggest source of inspiration is her love for the Savior, Jesus Christ. She told pacific.lds.org, “Music is one of the biggest tools to help us feel the Spirit. I gained a real love for writing music growing up. I studied music at Wintec. Writing is very therapeutic and it’s my outlet. . .. Everything I write is inspired by Heavenly Father. ‘Bring Mana to Your Name’ is based on Church values and choosing the right.” She continued:
A lot of us have names, especially our last names, that comes from our ancestors. How you are remembered is the decisions you make in life. Everyone in your family is like a link to a chain but everything starts with you. I’m just trying to inspire people to make good decisions.
Polly lives in Temple View, New Zealand, with her husband Jeremy and two daughters. She hopes to one day produce an album of gospel music. Her dream is to “be an example of good and praise Heavenly Father through singing.”
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