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Big-name finalists dominate Vodafone Pacific Music Awards

24 March, 2014

Big-name finalists dominate 2014 Vodafone Pacific Music Awards

Finalists for the 10th annual Pacific Music Awards have been announced, proving again that New Zealand’s superb Pacific musical talent pool continues to flourish. 2014 finalists Sol3 Mio, David Dallas and Ladi6 sit alongside the best hip hop, soul, R&B, reggae, classical and gospel artists, many of whom have topped the charts domestically and overseas.

Helping mark the awards’ significant 10-year milestone as the country’s leading celebration of Pacific music, Vodafone has been announced as the new major sponsor.

Pacific Music Awards Trust Spokesperson Rev. Mua Strickson-Pua says the calibre of finalists in the 2014 event is an indicator of how the event has grown during its 10 years.

“The 10th anniversary of the Pacific Music Awards marks a milestone of Pacific achievement, where we honour our musicians, the industry and Pacific nations.

“The contribution of Pasifikan creative communities bares testimony to pioneering, success and excellence. Our 10th anniversary is special to our Pasifika communities and Aotearoa music industry. Let the Fiafia celebrations begin,” Strickson-Pua says.

Vodafone’s Consumer Director, Matt Williams, says partnering with the Vodafone Pacific Music Awards is yet another demonstration of the company’s commitment to Kiwi music.

“Vodafone has a long history of backing New Zealand music, supporting the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards for more than a decade. We know how much Kiwis get behind local talent and we want to ensure artists get the help and recognition they deserve, and bring Kiwis closer to music – wherever they are.

“This new partnership is the latest addition to our music portfolio, which includes the Vodafone Music app sponsorship of the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards and the Rhythm Group festivals,” Williams says.

Also new this year is the awards’ first international award, the Flava Best International Pacific ArtistAward, which acknowledges the success of a Pacific musician living anywhere in the world. This has come about due to the success of the Pacific Music Awards and requests from Pacific artists living overseas.The inaugural finalists are Fiji, Kalaga’la and Spawnbreezie.

In just two years, Samoan / Kiwi rapper David Dallas has made a name for himself both here and overseas and he, along with renowned hip hop soul artist Ladi6, are both up for an impressive five awards.

Dallas’ finals berths in NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male Artist, Niu FM Best Pacific Urban Artist,APRA Best Pacific Song, NZ on Air Best Pacific Music Video and Auckland Council Best Pacific Music Album, top off the biggest year of his career. His musical talent has seen him handpicked by Eminem to support his Rapture tour and he received further accolades from PlayStation who selected his single Runnin’ from his new album Falling Into Place for two of its latest releases.

A gem in New Zealand’s hip hop crown for a decade, Ladi6 is a finalist in Trillian Trust Best Pacific Female Artist, Best Pacific Urban Artist, Best Pacific Song, Best Pacific Music Video and Best Pacific Music Album. The Christchurch-born musician’s third album Automatic, produced with her partner and music collaborator Brent Park, was received with critical acclaim, with singles Shine On and Diamondsdominating the airwaves.

Tongan-born Reggae / R&B artist Swiss is a finalist in the Best Pacific Male Artist category following his smash hit album Lucky Man. Mark Vanilau has stepped into the limelight this year with his debut albumDark Horizon. His stunning single Giant of the Sea earned him nominations for Best Pacific Male Artist and Best Pacific Song.

Maori, Tongan and Samoan Soul diva Bella Kalolo and Samoan-born rising R&B star Mz J (aka Julie Ta’ale)join Ladi6 in the finals for Best Pacific Female Artist.

With their smooth reggae tunes with a distinctive pacific vibe, Wellington-based nine piece actBrownHill’s debut album First Love has earned finals spots in Radio 531PI Best Pacific Group and Best Pacific Urban Artist. They go up against opera’s Sol3Mio in both categories - the Auckland-based trio whose self-titled debut album topped the charts and went five-times platinum.

Successful husband and wife duo Kelemete & Kiligi Ta’ale (parents of Julie Ta’ale, aka Mz J) line up against the Youth of Christ Alumni New Zealand Choir in both the Tagata Pasifika Best Pacific Language and Best Pacific Gospel Artist categories.

There is also a new award offered in 2014 – the British Council* Aspiring International Artist award. To help more Pacific musicians take a step on to the international stage, the British Council is awarding one artist a return trip to the UK where they will undertake meetings, and performance and networking opportunities. Additionally New Zealand recording studio Stebbings will provide a CD package as a prize to the winner of the Phillip Fuemana – Most Promising Pacific Artist Award.

Taking place at the Vodafone Events Centre on Thursday May 8, the Vodafone Pacific Music Awards 2014 are destined to be a bigger than ever. Due to its increasing popularity and size, the 2014 winners announcement event and performance showcase is this year being held in the larger Sir Woolf Fisher Arena. Tickets for the winners announcement are on sale now at

2014 Vodafone Pacific Music Awards finalists by category

Bella Kalolo Time and Space
Ladi 6 Automatic
MzJ You Make Me Smile
David Dallas Falling Into Place
Mark Vanilau Dark Horizon
Swiss Lucky Man
David Dallas Falling Into Place
Ladi 6 Automatic
BrownHill Firstlove
BrownHill First Love
Sol3 Mio Sol3 Mio
Tomorrow People One.5
David Dallas Runnin’
King Kapisi Crush
Ladi 6 Ikarus
David Dallas Runnin’
Ladi 6 Ikarus
Mark Vanilau Giant of the Sea
Fiafia Band Pepelo
Kelemete & Kiligi Ta’ale Penina Lalelei o Samoa
YFC Alumni NZ Choir Amuia le Tagata
Kelemete & Kiligi Ta’ale Penina Lalelei o Samoa
Lifestyle Lifestyle (of Worship)
YFC Alumni NZ Choir Amuia le Tagata
Fiji Born & Raised II – The ReBirth
Kalaga’la Aimons Nous
Spawnbreezie Perfect
David Dallas Falling Into Place
Ladi 6 Automatic
Sol3 Mio Sol3 Mio

*The British Council is partly funded by British taxpayers who see the value of arts and culture in creating trust between people around the world – and today that kaupapa is more important than ever.


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