See the full list of winners from this year’s Pacific Music Awards.
Te Vaka and Vince Harder have dominated this year’s Pacific Music Awards, which were announced at an event in Auckland tonight.
Both the Best Pacific Song and Best Pacific Album awards were won by Te Vaka, a group who were founded back in 1995 and are now known as mainstays of the Pacific music and dance scene in New Zealand. Unfortunately, songwriter and vocalist Opetaia Foa’I wasn't in the building to accept the award; he had to skip the ceremony this year as he’s currently working on the soundtrack to Moana, a Disney film due out in November which was written by Taika Waititi.
The event, which was held at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau, also saw Vince Harder lock in three awards – Best Pacific Male Artist, Best Pacific Urban Artist and Best Producer. Harder said that winning the Best Producer award was huge for him and during his acceptance speech he took time to acknowledge fellow nominee and former Illegal Musik labelmate, NOX, who played an immense role in helping to mentor Harder in the studio.
Other winners on the night included Annie Grace (Best Pacific Female Artist), Common Kings (Best International Pacific Artist), Sol3 Mio (Best Pacific Group), and Savage (Radio Airplay and Outstanding Achievement). Local hip hop trio Team Dynamite - made up of Haz' Beats, Tony Tz and Lucky Lance - also took out the Best Pacific Music Video award for Cosmos Re-Up, which was directed by local videographer Eddy Fifield.
Pacific Underground, the music and arts collective originally from Christchurch, were also honoured on the night with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Formed in 1993, the group came together with the aim to tell stories from Polynesians living in New Zealand. Long-time member Pos Mavaega told Sam Wicks he was shocked when he heard they would be honoured and he even considered turning down the award since there are so many other artists in the scene that he felt should be recognised.
“What changed my mind was looking at the history and looking at the people. Because when we talk about [Pacific Underground] members, they’re not members as such. It’s just everybody that we shake hands with; backstage, on stage, touring, wherever. If we’re working together, we’re family.”
Earlier in the evening, Pacific Underground took a moment to pay tribute to Bill Sevisi, an icon of Pasifika music who was inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame late last year and passed away just over a month ago. With a career that spanned decades, the Tongan-born musician recorded a huge collection of songs and mentored many local musicians after entering the scene in the early-1950s.
Pacific Music Awards Trust chairperson Rev. Mua Strickson-Pua said that the nominees are a sign that Pacific music continues to lead the way in the local industry.
“While the legends of the genre such as Te Vaka and Annie Grace continue to make their presence known, it is equally satisfying to see relative newcomers such as Team Dynamite asserting their talent and influence. The mainstream appeal of many of our winning artists, too, is a credit to Pacific culture and its place in the broader New Zealand community and internationally.”
Here’s the full list of winners:
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA BEST PACIFIC FEMALE ARTIST
Annie Grace The Journey
NZ MUSIC COMMISSION BEST PACIFIC MALE ARTIST
Vince Harder Rare Vision
RADIO 531PI BEST PACIFIC GROUP
Sol3 Mio On Another Note
AUCKLAND COUNCIL BEST PACIFIC GOSPEL ARTIST
TJ Taotua ‘Firstly’
NIU FM BEST PACIFIC URBAN ARTIST
Vince Harder Rare Vision
FLAVA BEST INTERNATIONAL PACIFIC ARTIST
Common Kings ‘Hits & Mrs’
MAINZ BEST PRODUCER
NZ ON AIR BEST PACIFIC MUSIC VIDEO
Team Dynamite ‘Cosmos Re-Up’. Directed by Eddy Fifield
APRA BEST PACIFIC SONG
Te Vaka ‘Papua I Sisifo’. Written by Opetaia Foa’i
SUNPIX BEST PACIFIC LANGUAGE
Tha Feelstyle ‘Sasa’
NZ ON AIR RADIO AIRPLAY AWARD
VODAFONE PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD - BEST PACIFIC ARTIST
PHILLIP FUEMANA AWARD –MOST PROMISING PACIFIC ARTIST
RECORDED MUSIC NZ BEST PACIFIC MUSIC ALBUM
Te Vaka ‘Amataga’
SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD – Outstanding Achievement
Vika & Linda Bull
MANUKAU INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD