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KOILE wins top prize at Pacific Music Awards

KOILE wins top prize at Pacific Music Awards

Saturday night’s Polynesian Blue Pacific Music Awards held in Auckland celebrated its first-ever win from a South Island based group since the awards beginnings.

Iconic Dunedin reggae band ‘Koile took out the Tagata Pasifika Best Pacific Language with their winning entry EP ‘Te Hua’, released last year at the event “Fetu O Mataliki” that marked a historical launch for the group as part of the Dunedin Matariki Festival.

The band was ecstatic to learn of their win while backstage, preparing for their performance at the ceremony as bandleader Hiliako Iaheto was taken aback, missing the actual announcement.

Manager and spokesperson ‘Koile Pip Laufiso stepped up to the podium in the bands place and acknowledged the lengthy journey for the band to attend the Pacific Music Awards, traveling by car and plane, and straight to the venue for sound-check. All for the most economical way to move all ten members up country and back.

Iaheto then was able to take the opportunity to say thank you before the band played two songs from Te Hua.

“I was looking out at the audience and I could see my nieces and thought of all the kids in my family in Dunedin and all around the country. All I could think about was the importance and retention of our Pacific language through our music, especially for our kids.

The other finalists in this category were Christchurch’s Pacific Underground and veteran Cook Island performer Taura Mani.

“At the end of the day it’s our language that’s the real winner, as all three nominated groups have produced recordings promoting Tokelauan, Tongan, Cook Islands and Samoan languages.” Says Mr Iaheto.

The big winner was Nesian Mystik with their trophies for Auckland Council People’s Choice Award, Radio 531PI Best Pacific Group, Polynesian Blue Best Pacific Music Album for "99AD, and the APRA Best Pacific Song award for "Sun Goes Down".

Christchurch born Ladi6 won two categories – Best Urban Artist and Best Female Artist. The strong South Island presence this year was also seen through live performances by ‘Koile, Pacific Underground, and Wellington based Christchurch born Bella Kalolo.

‘Fetu O Mataliki’ will return on Saturday 11 June as part of this years Dunedin Matariki Festival and feature ‘Koile once again, and more Maori and Pasifika guests from Dunedin and Taranaki.


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