Much-loved music and dance group Te Vaka and multi-talented Vince Harder have taken out the top accolades at the 12th annual Vodafone Pacific Music Awards.
Te Vaka’s achievement is significant as it secured both the Best Song and Best Album awards, while Vince Harder took home no fewer than three awards – for NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male Artist, Auckland Council Best Pacific Urban Artist and MAINZ Best Producer – showcasing the diversity of his abilities.
Te Vaka has won the APRA Best Pacific Song award for ‘Papua I Sisifo’, written by band member Opetaia Foa’i. The group also took out the Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album for ‘Amataga’, its 8th collection of songs released in late 2015.
For more than two decades Te Vaka has occupied a central space in Pacific music and dance, under the inspired leadership of Foa'i. The group has toured the world and performed at important global occasions including America’s Cup events in Auckland, the Commonwealth games in Melbourne, the Rugby World Cup in Paris and the Olympic Games in Beijing.
Te Vaka is a regular visitor to the Vodafone Pacific Music Awards podium having won numerous accolades over the years. The group’s songwriter and lead vocalist Opetaia Foa’i was noticeably missing from the awards ceremony but for good reason; he is currently writing the soundtrack for the upcoming Disney film Moana.
Vince Harder has won the NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male Artist and the NIU FM Best Pacific Urban Artist awards for his album ‘Rare Vision’. Recognition of his talent as an artist was complemented by his win in the MAINZ Best Producer category, for album ‘Rare Vision’ and the song ‘Start Again’ which he co-wrote with Stan Walker.
Vince released his first song in 2008 and has enjoyed widespread mainstream success including topping the NZ Singles Chart with ‘Everything’, a collaboration with fellow artist P-Money.
Virgin Australia Best Pacific Female Artist goes to industry stalwart Annie Grace for her album ‘The Journey’. In The Journey, Annie embraces each challenge and tells her story of hope and triumph, sharing her real life experiences to help bring healing and restoration. Annie is a familiar presence in Pacific music circles and at the Vodafone Pacific Music Awards; this year marks the second occasion on which she has won the Best Pacific Female Artist with the first awarded in 2006.
This year’s Flava Best International Pacific Artist award goes to Common Kings for the album ‘Hits & Mrs’. Common Kings delivers a collection of inspirations orchestrated in an array of head rocking beats, feel good vibes and emotional fever. The band is known for delivering pop hits with rock, reggae and R&B influences.
Winning the SunPix Best Pacific Language Recording award this year is Tha Feelstyle for his single “Sasa”. Real name Kas Futialo, Tha Feelstyle is a multiple award winner who has forged a presence in the movie industry with music in films including Siones Wedding, Number 2 and The Orator. He was also the first to introduce the Samoan language to hip hop music in NZ.
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