Teremoana was born in Upper Hutt, a small New Zealand town on the outskirts of its capital city, Wellington. She grew up wanting to be a mathematician but at age 14 her life took a different path, with her leaving home in Wellington to join pioneering politically conscious rap group Upper Hutt Posse for the bright lights of Auckland City.
While travelling and performing as the only locally born female rapper in the country at the time, Teremoana continued her education to University Entrance leaving school at 15.
By the age of 17 she had travelled to New York, Los Angeles, Hawaii and Detroit with the group and not long after their return was asked to join Moana and the Moahunters.
Before she reached 19, she had featured in music videos for both groups, becoming a familiar face on the landscape of the local music scene and had decided to launch her solo career while continuing collaborations with local artists. It was at this time she made the decision to learn the tools of the trade by buying her first ATARI ST (bought from MASSIVE software creator Stephen Regelous) to run a music programme called Dr.T, before moving on to Cubase. From here her music-tech journey moved to a Roland S-550, (bought from Wellington group Gifted and Brown producer, the late Gerrard Tahuparae) a sampler with the recording capacity of 2.4 secs.
As a solo artiste she graced the cover of Mana Magazine, Planet Magazine, featured in numerous local and international magazines including both the Australian and French editions of teen idol magazine Crème as the centre pullout poster.
Initially releasing music through BMG, she also delivered demos for Sony Music, produced music for corporate advertising and created theme music for television shows.
Not long after giving birth to her first child she was asked to audition for New Zealand children's television show, What Now? She became a field reporter with fellow rapper Otis Frizzell (M.C OJ) over two seasons. This lead to an audition for ground-breaking indigenous youth magazine show, Mai Time. She stayed with the State broadcaster for nine seasons, first as a presenter then eventually making her way to director and camera operator. She gained just over 300 production credits from 1994 to 2005.
Coupled with her skills as a field reporter and researcher, it was a natural progression for her to move to writing. While working in television she also delivered stories for local magazines Selector and Back to Basics. Here she interviewed Dei Hamo, Che Fu, Destiny’s Child, Michael Franti, Ben Harper and Aaliyah. Ben Harper was so impressed with his coverage, that he wrote her a personal note, to thank her.
In January 2005, she worked for privately-owned production company, Visionary Film and Television directing three of the six-episode indigenous series IROAM for TV One (TVNZ) shot in Hokitika, Queenstown and Panguru.
She then joined indigenous State broadcaster, The Māori Television Service in March 2005. Her time there saw her produce 1457 programmes, gain over 3000 production credits and held roles as director, camera operator, editor, scriptwriter, production manager, executive producer and producer.
She has travelled internationally for both music and content creation simultaneously producing music videos and interstitials shot in Thailand, USA, Australia, United Kingdom and France for New Zealand rap artist King Kapisi.
She also worked as the tour manager for Kapisi internationally, playing the Glastonbury Festival in England, the Honda Festival in Hua Hin, Thailand, the largest USA indie festival SXSW in Austin, Texas, IndigenUS Festival in Toronto, Canada, the AWME Festival in Melbourne, Big Day Out Festival tour circuit in both NZ and Australia and Queensland festivals The Dreaming and Reggaetown.
In 2015, she toured Sesame Street’s Elmo’s World Live show in NZ. Later that year she toured and event managed the World-famous Harlem Globetrotters throughout NZ and Australia. The following year she toured a double bill with Jamaican reggae legends Third World and Grammy-winner, JBOOG, in NZ.
During the tours of 2015 Teremoana and her musician partner created free-to-attend community event, Elevated, a one-day festival they ran until 2017. Elevated, was a social community experiment utilising access-free public space for communities to interact with local people of all ages and ethnicities. This event brought together a street dance competition, a chess tent, free barber cuts, a basketball tournament, a slam dunk competition, Impact Pro Wrestling, live street art, digital comic art, traditional flower garland making (ei katu), traditional wood carving, upcycling activities and much more. All locally sourced with an agenda of ‘Putting the unity back into Community’. In total, their Elevated events attracted 15,000+ people.
This also presented the opportunity to carry out a scoping report for a local board and, assist in the design of a signature creative event for that local board area, called Mo Arts Jam. In the lead up to the one day event, her company The Hefty Agency ran a 15-week all ages open mic night at a local social-initiative cafe, The Community Cafe within the town centres, art centre.
The key focus was hiring local people and suppliers, up-skilling those interested in production, providing a safe learning space for beat-makers, beatboxers and street-dancers to learn their craft, accessibility to well-seasoned musicians to play alongside young emerging musicians from the area, bringing some of the local areas favourite artists to the centre, paying everyone involved in the project, presenting the arts centre as a welcoming space for all, create a community of like-minded people and, encourage the local council art centre staff to participate in the activities to understand, perhaps an alternative approach could be utilised to connect with their constituents.
From 2017-2020 Teremoana worked as a Social Innovation Specialist Adviser Pacific Responsiveness for The Southern Initiative, a unit within the Chief Planning Office of Auckland Council. Its mandate is place-based, focusing on improving social, economic and environmental outcomes by working collaboratively and innovatively with entrepreneurs, NGOs, private training organisations, industry training organisations, schools, community groups, local government and central government. The core of the work is design and human-centric, steeped with a focus on keeping the voice of the community they serve at the centre of their work while simultaneously working at a systemic-change level.
She now works for cultural and economic development agency, Auckland Unlimited as the Creative Economy Strategy Lead.
As she has always done as she carries out her day job, Teremoana continues to produce music.
Alongside Upper Hutt Posse (2016) and Moana and the Moahunters (2019), Teremoana collectively received the Taite Music Prize (classic record) twice and was inducted into the Aotearoa Music Hall of Fame, and received the Legacy Award with Upper Hutt Posse (2018). Teremoana is the only musician to receive all four accolades.
In March 2020 right before the country went into lockdown she released her first solo track and video in 22 years called 'What's going on' via Zojak International a USA + Jamaican distribution company. Self-produced with production by Bill Urale (King Kapisi). She also self-directed the music video which has been selected for five international film festivals for 2020-2021.
Her debut album, 32 years in the making, Daughter of a House-girl will be released in 2022.