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Pacific Music Award Finalist Announcement

Media release

19 April 2017

Moana musicians and record breakers among Pacific Music Awards finalists

The finalists for the 2017 Vodafone Pacific Music Awards are announced today which include a wide range of new artists and established legends.

18 finalists across 11 categories represent a strong line-up of Pacific artists set to be honoured at the awards ceremony on 1 June at the Vodafone Events Centre.

Disney blockbuster movie Moana took Pacific music to the world and grossed over $600 million internationally. Its soundtrack featured Vodafone Pacific Music Awards finalists Opetaia Foa’i, Olivia Foa’i,Vai Mahina/Sulata Foa’i-Amiatu and Matthew Ineleo.

Breakthrough artist Kings is a finalist in five categories including Niu FM Best Pacific Urban Artist, NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male Artist, MAINZ Best Producer and Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album for KINGS EP. Kings is also up for APRA Best Pacific Song for ‘Don’t Worry ‘Bout It’, which broke the Official New Zealand Singles Chart record with 32 weeks at #1.

After a string of success off the back of her latest album Brown Girl, Aaradhna is centre stage again as a finalist for four Vodafone Pacific Music Awards: Virgin Australia Best Pacific Female Artist, NZ On Air Best Pacific Music Video, Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album, and APRA Best Pacific Song.

Local reggae group Three Houses Down are finalists for three awards, including Niu FM Best Pacific Urban Artist and Radio 531PI Best Pacific Group, as well as NZ On Air Best Pacific Music Video for their latest single ‘Love & Affection’ featuring General Fiyah.

Other nominees include Onehunga hip hop crew SWIDT (Niu FM Best Pacific Urban Artist, MAINZ Best Producer), Unity Pacific (Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album, Radio 531PI Best Pacific Group) and rapper Savage (NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male Artist).

Vodafone Pacific Music Awards Trust spokesperson Rev. Mua Strickson-Pua said the calibre of talent at this year’s Vodafone Pacific Music Awards is astounding and continues to build on the momentum from previous years.

“This is the 13th year of the Vodafone Pacific Music Awards, and every season brings more fresh talent and vision to our stage. The number of achievements within the Pacific music community is something we should all be proud of.”

Strickson-Pua said the event will also reveal the recipients of the four additional awards; the Manukau Institute of Technology Lifetime Achievement Awards, NZ On Air Radio Airplay Award, Phillip Fuemana Award for Most Promising Pacific Artist, and the Vodafone People’s Choice Award.

“These awards are presented to individuals who have made a significant impact on the industry and to the lives of people around them. It will be an honour to celebrate their achievements and Pacific culture at the award ceremony.”

The winner of the Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album category is presented with a Tui and recognised at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards later this year.

The awards are now in their 13th year and tickets to the ceremony will be available

Vodafone Pacific Music Awards finalists:

Virgin Australia Best Pacific Female Artist Award:

AaradhnaBrown Girl

La CocoLove & Other Things

Olivia Foa’i – ‘Tulou Tagaloa’

NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male Artist Award:


Savage – ‘Zooby Doo’

Tommy NeeColorblind

Niu FM Best Pacific Urban Artist Award:



Three Houses Down feat. General Fiyah – ‘Love & Affection’

Radio 531pi Best Pacific Group Award:

Three Houses Down feat. General Fiyah – ‘Love & Affection’

Tomorrow People – ‘Writings on the Wall’

Unity PacificBlackbirder Dread

NZ On Air Best Pacific Music Video Award:

Aaradhna – ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ (Directed by Sophie Findlay)

Parri$ – ‘Friday’ (Directed by Parris Goebel)

Three Houses Down feat. General Fiyah – ‘Love & Affection’ (Directed by Samson Rambo)

APRA Best Pacific Song Award:

Aaradhna – ‘Brown Girl’ (Written by Aaradhna Patel)

KINGS – ‘Don’t Worry Bout’ It’ (Written by Kings)

Opetaia Foa’i – ‘We Know The Way’ (Written by Opetaia Foa’i and Lin-Manuel Miranda)

SunPix Best Pacific Language Award:

Annie Grace – ‘Loimata o le Fiafia’

Olivia Foa’i – ‘Tulou Tagaloa’

Vai Mahina/Sulata Foa’i-Amiatu, Matthew Ineleo – ‘An Innocent Warrior’

Best Pacific Gospel Artist Award:

Annie Grace – ‘Unchangeable Love’

La CocoLove & Other Things

Revere – ‘Groove Thing’

Flava Best International Pacific Artist Award:

J BoogRose Petals

Kylie AuldistFamily Tree

CRSB Evolution of Love

Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album Award:

AaradhnaBrown Girl


Unity PacificBlackbirder Dread

MAINZ Best Producer Award:

KINGSKINGS EP (Produced by Kings)

La CocoLove & Other Things (Produced by Dee Letoa)

SWIDTSWIDT vs EVERYBODY (Produced by SmokeyGotBeatz)

All the finalists:
1. Aaradhna Brown Girl

2. Annie Grace – ‘Loimata o le Fiafia’/’Unchangeable Love’

3. CRSB Evolution of Love

4. J BoogRose Petals


6. Kylie AuldistFamily Tree

7. La Coco Love & Other Things

8. Olivia Foa’i – ‘Tulou Tagaloa’

9. Opetaia Foa’i – ‘We Know The Way’

10. Parri$ – ‘Friday’

11. Revere – ‘Groove Thing’

12. Savage – ‘Zooby Doo’


14. Three Houses Down (featuring General Fiyah) – ‘Love & Affection’

15. Tommy Nee Colorblind

16. Tomorrow People – ‘Writings on the Wall’

17. Unity PacificBlackbirder Dread

18. Vai Mahina/Sulata Foa’i-Amiatu, Matthew Ineleo – ‘An Innocent Warrior’

For more information:

© Scoop Media

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