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Waiata Māori Music Awards ceremony

Waiata Māori Music Awards ceremony

A young singer who first featured at the National Waiata Māori Music Awards as a guest performer when she was a teenager has won the event’s top award for a female artist in 2015.

Majic Paora, from Kaipara, was named Best Māori Female Solo Artist at the Waiata Maori Music Awards ceremony held in Hastings Sports Centre, Hawke’s Bay, on Friday night.

The reggae-roots artist acknowledged the founder of the awards, the late Tama Huata, his whanau, and other artists for supporting her career development.

But above all she dedicated the award to her father, Ropata Paora.

“Most importantly though, I would like to acknowledge my father, who could not be here today but usually comes along [to the awards] with me each year,” Majic Paora said.

“I have my two brothers with me … who are here with [Hamilton band] Tasty Brown and congratulations to them for being a finalist.

“This award is dedicated to my dad, who puts in a lot of hard work for the love of his children.”

The awards ceremony opened with a special performance by Kahurangi Māori Dance Theatre, featuring Toni Huata, Maisey Rika and Rob Ruha, recognising Mr Huata and his efforts to establish the annual music awards event.

There were also other guest performances during the night to make the awards ceremony a success.

The audience was treated to the acoustic sound of Hastings singer Katherine Winitana and then what was to be a solo performance by Rob Ruha turned into a star-studded line up of singers including Majic Paora, Maisey Rika, Troy Kingi and Tyna Keelan performing together.

There was strong solo performances by Troy Kingi, Maaka Fiso, Ranea Aperahama and Tipene, all of which had the guests out of their seats and dancing to the best Māori music had to offer.

An impromptu performance by Rim D Paul and Eddie Low, after they accepted the Māori Music Industry Nominated Award on behalf of the Quin Tikis, was also a treat for those who had gathered for the 8th annual awards ceremony.

L40, a 7-piece RnB/Hip Hop/Neo-Soul/Reggae band that was a finalist at the 2014 Waiata Māori Music Awards, returned this year and a guest performer.

While Majic Paora won the top award for female solo artist, the other big award winners of the night included Ranea Aperahama, who took home four titles.

It included Best Māori Male Solo Artist and Best Māori Songwriter. His album, Tihei Mauri Ora, won the awards for Best Roots/Reggae Album and Best Māori Traditional Album.

Pop band Six60 also won three titles including Best Māori Pop Artist Award, Best Song by a Māori Artist (Special) and Radio Airplay Song of the Year by a Māori Artist (Special).

The Radio Airplay Song of the Year by a Māori Artist, in te reo Māori, was won by Stan Walker for his work on Aotearoa, released during Māori Language Week this year. The song also features Ria Hall, Maisey Rika and Troy Kingi.

International performer Toni Huata won the Best Video of the Year by a Māori Artist, for her work on Hopukia o Te Tao. The video was also released for this year's Māori Language Week and is taken from her 2012 album, Hopukia.

Young Wellington hip-hop performer Rei (Callum McDougall) made his debut appearance as a finalist and won the Best Māori Urban Artist Award for his new album, CHIEF.

There were four recipients in the Nominated Awards section this year. These awards are not judged by recognise the significant contribution an individual or artists have made to the music industry.

Whanau of the late Mauriora Kingi, from Rotorua, accepted the Keeper of Traditions Award, acknowledging his work particularly in Māori performing arts.

The Māori Music Industry Award this year went to The Quin Tikis, recognising the band's contribution to the music industry during the popular showband era of the 1960s and 1970s.

The Emerging Artist Award this year went to 21-year-old Te Karehana Gardiner-Toi, Northland, who recently returned from New York where he was working on his first album, with the help of mentors Maisey Rika and Tama Waipara to name a few.

Gardiner-Toi music is a fusion of soul, RnB and old school sound, mixed with a flare of contemporary elements, something that people in the audience at the awards ceremony got a taste of when he sang as a guest performer.

It was an emotional awards ceremony this year, the first without Tama Huata in command as executive director. His daughter Ellison Huata has taken over that role and she thanked those who had continued to contribute to the event to make it a success and ensure it continues.

Artists who appeared as guest performers, finalists and award winners, as well as award presenters and sponsors, paid tribute to Tama Huata and the work he had achieved in the music industry.

Kahurangi Māori Dance Theatre opened the awards in spectacular fashion as a tribute to Mr Huata and so it was fitting that the final Nominated Award, and the final title to be announced at this year’s awards ceremony, The Lifetime Contribution to Māori Music Award, was posthumously awarded to him.

The award was accepted on his behalf by his children, Ariki, Narelle and Ellison, as well as his wife, Tangi.

“I’m proud of my two sisters who made this event happen tonight, I also want to thank my dad’s brothers and sisters for their support at this time,” Ariki Huata said.

“To all of dad’s friends, colleagues and to everyone else who worked with him, this is just to say thanks to every person who new him,” he said.

Other whanau, friends and people who had worked with Tama Huata during his many years in the music industry performed one of his favourite waiata, E Pari Ra, to formally accept the award.


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