Pacific Underground awarded Lifetime Achievement Award

One of Pacific music’s most recognisable names is to be honoured with the Manukau Institute of Technology Lifetime Achievement Award at the Vodafone Pacific Music Awards.

Scheduled to take place on June 9 at the Vodafone Events Centre in Auckland, this year’s Awards will see the twelfth time a Lifetime Achievement Award is made, this time to worthy recipient Pacific Underground.

The country’s longest running Pacific performing arts organisation, Pacific Underground (PU) is a collective which formed in Christchurch in 1993. Since then, the group has shared stories of Pasifika communities living in Aotearoa through plays, music concerts, events, CDs, tours and collaborations with artists all over the Pacific.

Pacific Music Awards Trust spokesperson Rev. Mua Strickson-Pua notes that this Award recognises artists who have significantly contributed to Pacific music over an extended period of time. “That’s certainly something the community sees in Pacific Underground. Since 1993, this group has occupied a central space in the local scene and across a wide variety of mediums, including the production of music, theatre, events and more. I love that Pacific Underground started in a very humble, grassroots way, but its influence and contribution today is being recognised and honoured.”

Pacific Underground’s recent activities include project managing Mana Moana Art and Music labs in Auckland, running the first full length season of its play ‘Rangi and Mau’s Amazing Race’ and a performance at the opening of Glen Innes’s new music and arts centre, Te Oro.

The group collaborated with Kalaga’la at the Auckland Arts Festival in 2015, completed tours to New Caledonia and performed at the Jean Tjibaou Cultural Centre in Noumea. It also recently collaborated with Christchurch’s Free Theatre and Unitec Architecture students for the Festival of Transitional Architecture with a light installation piece called ‘Under the Fale’.

For the past 17 years, Pos Mavaega and Tanya Muagututi’a have led the group and have diversified its involvement of performing arts by focusing on strengthening it’s behind the scenes activities through event and music production. The two havve created a unique work ethic with humility and integrity, cutting through high-stress environment by providing opportunity, encouragement and hospitality.

The group has won several awards to date, including TV2s MAI TIME Poutokomanawa Award, the Cultural Diversity Award from the Human Rights Commission, and the Media Peace Award from Radio NZ.

Previous winners of the Manukau Institute of Technology Lifetime Achievement Award at the Pacific Music Awards include Ardijah, Bill Sevesi, Annie Crummer, The Yandall Sisters, and most recently, Herbs.

The awards are now in their 12th year and the winners will be announced at an event celebrating and honouring Pacific music and artists at the Vodafone Events Centre on Thursday 9 June.

Virgin Australia Best Pacific Female Artist award:

·       Annie Grace with ‘The Journey’

·       Rosie Everything with ‘Rosie’

·       Tree with ‘Sweet Lovin’ 

NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male Artist award:

·       Beau Monga with ‘King and Queen’

·       K.One with ‘Out of Thin Air’

·       Vince Harder with ‘Rare Vision’

Niu FM Best Pacific Urban Artist award:

·       Beau Monga with ‘King and Queen’

·       Ill Semantics with ‘Trillogy’

·       Vince Harder with ‘Rare Vision’

 Radio 531pi Best Pacific Group award:

·       Sol3 Mio with ‘On Another Note’

·       Te Vaka with ‘Amataga’

·       Tomorrow People with ‘Bass & Bassinets’

 NZ On Air Best Pacific Music Video award:

·       K. One with ‘So Good’ (Directed by Kaleb Vitale & Mark Arona)

·       Team Dynamite with ‘Cosmos ReUp’ (Directed by Eddy Fifield)

·       Vince Harder with ‘Shot Me Down’ (Directed by Shae Sterling)

 APRA Best Pacific Song award:

·       Annie Grace with ‘E Le Galo’ (written by Annie Tonumali’i and Pearl Va’afusuaga)

·       Mal Lakatani with ‘Fiti Lagakali’ (written by Mekemiliani Ikinepule and Malakamu Lakatani)

·       Te Vaka with ‘Papua I Sisifo’ (written by Opetaia Foa’i)

 SunPix Best Pacific Language award:

·       Mal Lakatani with ‘Fiti Lagakali’

·       Te Vaka with ‘Amataga’

·       Tha Feelstyle with ‘Sasa’

 Best Pacific Gospel Artist award:

·       Annie Grace with ‘The Journey’

·       Revere with ‘Set Apart’

·       TJ Taotua with ‘Firstly’

 Flava Best International Pacific Artist award:

·       Common Kings with ‘Hits & Mrs’

·       Ezra James with ‘Runaway’

·       Makisi with ‘Famili’

 Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album award:

·       Annie Grace with ‘The Journey’

·       Sol3 Mio with ‘On Another Note’

·       Te Vaka with ‘Amataga’

 MAINZ Best Producer award:

·       Ill Semantics with ‘Trillogy’ (produced by Nox, Yorel, CXL)

·       K. One with ‘Out of Thin Air’ (produced by Nox)

·       Rosie Everything with ‘Rosie’ (produced by Dee Letoa)

·       Tomorrow People with ‘Bass & Bassinets’ (produced by Avina Kelekolio & Tana Tupai)

·       Vince Harder with ‘Start Again’ / Rare Vision (produced by Vince Harder)

 All the finalists:

1.     Annie Grace The Journey

2.     Beau Monga ‘King & Queen’

3.     Common Kings Hits & Mrs

4.     Ezra James ‘Runaway’

5.     Ill Semantics Trillogy

6.     K.One Out of Thin Air

7.     Makisi Famili

8.     Mal Lakatani ‘Fiti Lagakali’

9.     Revere ‘Set Apart’

10.  Rosie Everything's Rosie

11.  Sol3 Mio On Another Note

12.  Team Dynamite ‘Cosmos ReUp’

13.  Te Vaka Amataga

14.  Tha Feelstyle ‘Sasa’

15.  TJ Taotua ‘Firstly’

16.  Tomorrow People Bass & Bassinets

17.  Tree ‘Sweet Lovin’

18.  Vince Harder Rare Vision