30 April 2020
Record number of entries showcase outstanding year for Pacific music
Announcing the finalists for the 2020 Pacific Music Awards
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s plenty to celebrate in New Zealand’s Pacific music scene. The finalists for the 2020 Pacific Music Awards were announced today after a record number of entries, resulting in 24 finalists across 13 categories.
Pacific Music Awards Trust spokesperson Rev. Mua Strickson-Pua said that despite the challenging situation we find ourselves in, it’s more important than ever to celebrate the successes of our artists.
“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt, even by our humble 2020 Pacific Music Awards, requiring us to navigate through these times of uncertainty and great sadness. We acknowledge our traditional role and contribution to uplift the spirit and well-being of our people.
“We also take on the challenge of navigating the new economic reality and technology opportunities for our awards. Today we’re immensely proud to recognise this year’s finalists, who are exciting new and seasoned Pacific artists, that are making waves and taking Pacific music to new heights and realities. ”
Leading the finalists are hip hop duo Church & AP who are the fresh faces behind the next wave of New Zealand and Pacific hip hop. After being nominated for Best Hip Hop Album at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards in 2019, they released their debut album Teeth the following day on 15 November.
Since then, they’ve been nominated for four Pacific Music Awards including Flava Best Pacific Group, Base FM NZ & Island Base Samoa Best Pacific Hip Hop Artist, Best Producer and Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album.
Alongside Church & AP, international Pacific star Olivia Foa’i is also in the running for four Pacific Music Awards. As the lead female singer and dancer for multi-award winning Polynesian band Te Vaka, she’s seen success for her contributions to Disney’s Moana soundtrack alongside her father Opetaia Foa’i, who received the Special Recognition Award for his contributions to the film at the 2017 Pacific Music Awards.
She released her debut solo album Candid in 2019 and has been nominated for Auckland Council Best Pacific Female Artist, SunPix Best Pacific Language, Best Producer (with her brother Matatia) and Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album.
Hip hop artist commonly referred to as ‘Poly Pac’ (in reference to West Cost hip hop legend Tupac Shakur), Poetik achieved huge success with his album HAMOFIED 2 EP last year and has been nominated for three awards at the 2020 Pacific Music Awards – NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male Artist, Base FM NZ & Island Base Samoa Best Pacific Hip Hop Artist and Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album.
In a Pacific Music Awards first, Shepherds Reign are the first Polynesian heavy metal group to be nominated as finalists.
They’re up for Flava Best Pacific Group, SunPix Best Pacific Language and APRA Best Pacific Song for their single ‘Le Manu’ is inspired by the legend of an ancient Samoan warrior and is quite possibly the first heavy metal song sung in the Samoan language.
Recipients of the 2018 Manukau Institute of Technology Lifetime Achievement Award Punialava’a are back this year, proving their staying power as icons of the Pacific music community. This year they’re nominated for both PMN Best Pacific Gospel Artist and SunPix Best Pacific Language for the album Sili’aga I Fa’atufugaga, Beyond Our Stories.
Having carved a place for herself within Auckland’s vibrant music community over the past six years as a proud, second generation Samoan New Zealander, Lou’ana’s voice carries the stature of an old soul. She released her debut solo material in 2019, is nominated for Auckland Council Best Pacific Female Artist, Best Pacific Soul/R&B Artist and NZ On Air Best Pacific Music Video, and has plans to release her first album this year.
Both Noah Slee and Lepani are nominated for Best Pacific Soul/R&B Artist, as well as NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male Artist, while rapper Melodownz is nominated for Base FM NZ & Island Base Samoa Best Pacific Hip Hop Artist for his song ‘No Mercy’ featuring American rapper Denzel Curry.
Other finalists include Lani Alo (SunPix Best Pacific Language, PMN Best Pacific Gospel Artist, APRA Best Pacific Song), Tomorrow People (Flava Best Pacific Group, Pato Entertainment Best Pacific Roots/Reggae Artist), General Fiyah (Pato Entertainment Best Pacific Roots/Reggae Artist, APRA Best Pacific Song), Bella Kalolo (Auckland Council Best Pacific Female Artist), JXN (PMN Best Pacific Gospel Artist), Jordan Gavet (Best Pacific Soul/R&B Artist), Lomez Brown (Pato Entertainment Best Pacific Roots/Reggae Artist), Raggadat Cris (Pato Entertainment Best Pacific Roots/Reggae Artist), Disciple Pati (NZ On Air Best Pacific Music Video), SWIDT (NZ On Air Best Pacific Music Video), KINGS (Best Producer), Mikey Mayz (Best Producer), HP Boyz (PMN Best International Pacific Artist), Josh Tatofi (PMN Best International Pacific Artist) and Kaiit (PMN Best International Pacific Artist).
There will be six other awards announced for the 2020 Pacific Music Awards: Phillip Fuemana Most Promising Pacific Artist, NZ On Air Radio Airplay Award, NZ On Air Streaming Award, SunPix People’s Choice Award – Best Pacific Artist, Special Recognition Award and the Manukau Institute of Technology Lifetime Achievement Award.
The winner of the Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album category is presented with an official Tui and recognised at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards later this year.
Pacific Music Awards finalists:
Auckland Council Best Pacific Female Artist:
NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male Artist:
Flava Best Pacific Group:
NZ On Air Best Pacific Music Video:
APRA Best Pacific Song:
SunPix Best Pacific Language:
Base FM NZ & Island Base FM Samoa Best Pacific Hip Hop Artist:
Best Pacific Soul/R&B Artist:
Pato Entertainment Best Pacific Roots/Reggae Artist:
PMN Best Pacific Gospel Artist:
PMN Best International Pacific Artist:
Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album:
All the artist finalists:
For more information: www.pacificmusicawards.org.nz
Issued for the Pacific Music Awards by Pead PR
About the Pacific Music Awards:
In 2004 the Pacific Music Awards Committee (PMAC) was formed to realise a vision and the inaugural Pacific Music Awards debuted at Pasifika Festival in March 2005. Encouraged by the success of the awards the PMAC set about developing an annual event as a significant highlight of the New Zealand music industry calendar. The awards committee formed a Charitable Trust to organise and host the awards, and are driven by a simple core objective: to create and manage an event that acknowledges the success of Pacific artists, celebrates and promotes excellence in Pacific music and encourages young Pacific musicians to aspire to a higher level of achievement.
Rachel Weiss, Pead PR | 021 066 2791 | E. email@example.com
Adam Warin, Pead PR | 021 029 01388 | E. firstname.lastname@example.org
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