Mondays 9.30pm on Māori Television

Welcome to Songs From The Inside, the critically acclaimed production that unlocks songs of freedom. Join leading musicians as they enter New Zealand prisons and challenge prisoners to find their song, their story. What unfolds is an astonishing journey from demons to dreams, driven by the phenomenal power of music.


Watch Episodes onlineSERIES ONE >

First screened in March 2012, the inaugural series stunned audiences and redefined reality television: Four leading musicians, Anika Moa, Warren Maxwell, Maisey Rika and Ruia Aperahama enter Rimutaka Men's and Arohata Women’s prisons in Wellington, New Zealand and challenge students to find and face the music.


Screened on 21 February 2014, Series Two pierces straight to the core, opening inside the cells and first confessions of prisoners before they meet their new mentors – Don McGlashan, Annie Crummer and Laughton Kora joining Anika Moa behind the walls of Paremoremo and Auckland Women’s prisons.


Screening 7 September 2015, Anika Moa, Ladi6, Scribe & Troy Kingi enter the Christchurch Mens & Womens Prisons. 

The Mentors (Musicians)


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Best known for her hit singles ‘Like Water’ and ‘Walk Right Up’, Ladi6 brings hip-hop and smooth rhythms to the Christchurch Women’s Prison. With a particular flair for rhythmic beats and having many friends in the NZ music industry, Ladi6 brought the women’s songs to another level by drawing on her experience, skills and connections. A wonderfully supportive and dedicated lady, Songs from the Inside benefitted greatly from her participation in Series Three.[more]


Well-known rapper and hip-hop artist of hits such as ‘Not Many’ and ‘Dreaming’, Scribe returned to his hometown of Christchurch to bring rap and rhythm to the Christchurch Men’s Prison. Constantly challenging the students to reach their song-writing potential, he pushed several of the students to the limit in the aim of producing the best possible song they could. Encouraging them to write from the heart, Scribe was invaluable to the Songs from the Inside team.[more]

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The album

During the making of the first series, it quickly became obvious that an incredible journey through music was unfolding.

"We knew we would face barriers. But none of us could have predicted what would emerge when those walls finally came down."

Julian Arahanga, Director

It inspired Awa Films Ltd to undertake a second project, an album that would bring prisoners' songs fully into the mainstream scene. Songs From The Inside, the series soundtrack debuted at No.2 on the NZ ITunes album charts before moving to No. 1. A single track Just Like You entered the NZ Charts Top Ten. More special was that profits from album sales were donated to charities nominated by prisoners. An album of the second series will be released in 2014 from broadcast.

Songs from the Inside Songs from the Inside Volume 1

1 Whakataka Te Hau - Arohata Women, Anika Moa & Maisey Rika 01:56
2 Fatherland - Maera 04:14
3 Stuck In The Rain - Mo 05:04
4 Absent - Hana 04:28
5 Just Like You - Tama 05:55
6 Invisible Tears - Lena 04:13
7 Reflections - Mo 04:27
8 Whaddup Wid Dat - Nelly 04:54
9 Today - Lena & Anika Moa 02:44
10 Cries Of An Unhappy Child - Nicole 04:05
11 Life Is What You Make It - Tama 04:20
12 What I Am - Maisey Rika 05:45
13 My Gift - Warren Maxwell 01:33

Available at:
iTunes > Amplifier > The Warehouse