It was a night where the who's who of the Pacific Music World braved brave the cold Auckland elements and celebrate the 11th Annual Vodafone Pacific Music Awards, even X-Factor winners Beau Monga& Nyssa Collins were on hand as the Pacific music community united together celebrating the endeavours of the previous year, while accolades were given to ex All Black Jerry Collins who recently passed away. Top honours for the night not only belonged to ‘God' but to South Auckland natives Cydel - aka Pele Nili and Dee Letoa, who nabbed the Nui FM Best Pacific Artist, Radio 531pi Best Pacific Group and Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album. The awards are in recognition of their second album Memoirs Of A Midnight Cowboy.
Some of our highlights of the night included: Smashproof's social aware hit song Survivors (featuring Pieter T) saw the trio take out the coveted APRA Best Pacific Song Award, along with NZ On Air Best Pacific Music Video, which was directed by Chris Graham who represented responded by telling the audience he represented the ‘palagi minority'. Tyree, Deach and Sid first enjoyed success when their debut singleBrother with Gin Wigmore which topped the NZ Official Top 40 Charts in 2009.
One of the Award's performance highlights was TJ Taotua who picked up his first two Vodafone Pacific Music Awards for NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male Artist and Best Pacific Gospel Artist. TJ has extensive experience performing with some of New Zealand's top artists such as Aaradnha, Nesian Mystik and Katchafire - his performance was nothing but breathtaking, playing Magnified he and his band had skills that shone during his well-received performance at the awards, oh what a voice.
Virgin Australia Best Pacific Female Artist went to Auckland's North Shore soul singer Erakah for her EPOrganised Chaos. Erakah wrote and co-produced the pre-production of her E.P last year, all while touring with Six60 and Stan Walker, including opening for Beyoncé. She also recently launched the ‘Yana Girls Movement' supporting young girls in Fijian villages and is definitely one hot talent to keep an eye out for.
This year's Flava Best International Pacific Artist award went to Samoan neo-soul singer Maryanne Ito for Waking Up. It, who is based in Hawaii, writes all of her own material and has worked alongside top producers and musicians to create timeless songs. Waking Up reached #4 in the official UK soul chart, an achievement which is testament to her international success her performance with guitarist Malcolm Lakatani was nothing short of sublime.
Part Fijian artist Brooke Fraser who visits here this month on tour, had a special message that was beamed to the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau as she walked away with the NZ On Air Radio Airplay award for Kings & Queens. Fraser has been a regular on NZ airways since her 2003 album What To Do With Daylight. Her latest album Brutal Romantic is a change of tune from her previous work, but has been warmly received by critics and fans however, which we'll get to see her play live end of this month.
Ok, so Team Dynamite didn't nab any awards. They are personally one of our fave picks (go Tropicola), however Herbs was recognised with theManukau Institute of Technology Lifetime Achievement Award for its success and influence during the past 36 years. The reggae group was acknowledged for their debut release EP Whats' Be Happen?and Light of the Pacific. Both provided a confronting commentary on the political landscape at the time, particularly the Springbok Tour. The band is considered to be a pioneer of Pacific reggae, having paved the way for other top artists including Three Houses Down who performed a surprise musical tribute to the group at the awards ceremony this evening.
The Sol3 Mio boys also received a special recognition award for their incredible domestic and international success and who can blame them?. Samoan brothers Pene Pati, Amitai Pati and their cousin Moses Mackay's self-titled album has gone platinum seven times, and they continue to tour locally and internationally and if you saw any of their concerts this year you'd understand why. Their humour and music transcends the norm and touches the heart.
Ok well hopefully its only a matter of time when we'll see a Rock category at these awards show, maybe even other music genres. The Vodafone Pacific Music Awards winners highlight the colourful and vibrant music scene and culture we have in New Zealand. It was a pleasant vibe, no egos and a real sense of community. You get a real taste of belonging here amongst the Pacific communities that is integrated into the social fabric of New Zealand Aotearoa's diversity - We should celebrate it more. Congratulations to all of this year's winners Drum roll please...
2015 Vodafone Pacific Music Awards winners by category:
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA BEST PACIFIC FEMALE ARTIST
Erakah 'Organised Chaos'
NZ MUSIC COMMISSION BEST PACIFIC MALE ARTIST
TJ Taotua 'Magnified'
NIU FM BEST PACIFIC URBAN ARTIST
Cydel 'Memoirs of a Midnight Cowboy'
RADIO 531PI BEST PACIFIC GROUP
Cydel 'Memoirs of a Midnight Cowboy'
NZ ON AIR BEST PACIFIC MUSIC VIDEO
Smashproof "Survivors (featuring Pieter T)"
APRA BEST PACIFIC SONG
Smashproof "Survivors (featuring Pieter T)"
TAGATA PASIFIKA BEST PACIFIC LANGUAGE
Word of Life South Auckland Choir 'Toele I La'u Auaunaga'
BEST PACIFIC GOSPEL ARTIST
TJ Taotua 'Magnified'
FLAVA BEST INTERNATIONAL PACIFIC ARTIST
Maryanne Ito 'Waking Up'
NZ ON AIR RADIO AIRPLAY AWARD
Brooke Fraser "Kings & Queens"
VODAFONE PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD - BEST PACIFIC ARTIST
Three Houses Down
PHILLIP FUEMANA AWARD -MOST PROMISING PACIFIC ARTIST
MANUKAU INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
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Please spread the word to anyone who loves the song, or has lost someone too early also, feel free to leave any dedications in the comments of which we will share direct for Toyahs’ family and the band to see.
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