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Hawaiian Music Legend Fiji To Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Genre pioneer George ‘Fiji’ Veikoso to be celebrated at the 2021 Pacific Music Awards 

With more than four decades of music under his belt, GeorgeFiji’ Veikoso will be recognised as the recipient of the 2021 Manukau Institute of Technology Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Pacific Music Awards Trust is proud to celebrate Fiji’s contribution to Pacific music at the 2021 Pacific Music Awards on 11 December.

As an eight-year-old with a love of singing in church, Fiji’s first professional performance earned him $5 from the audience. It also earned him the disappointment of his mother who didn't want her son singing "worldly" music.

Since leaving his Fijian island homeland and settling in Hawai’i at 14-years-old, Fiji has become a legend in the Pacific music scene.

His 1994 debut album Evolution encapsulates the hip hop sound coming out of the islands in the 90s. It was followed three years later by Born & Raised in 1997, which catapulted Fiji into the spotlight and is now considered one of the most influential albums in Pacific music.

With his melodious voice and wonderful blend of music - which includes a fusion of classic reggae, hip hop, RnB and jazz - he is a pioneer in the Fiji and Pacific music field. He is also renowned and respected for recording songs in multiple Pacific languages.

More than just a singer, his prowess as a song writer, composer and producer has set him apart from the rest and led to international acclaim and fame.

Fiji’s popularity and presence in the local music industry was made clear to all when he won the Hawai’i Academy of Record Arts' Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Male Vocalist of the Year and the public balloting for Favourite Entertainer of the Year in 1998. Fiji also won the first Best Pacific International Artist Award at the 2014 Pacific Music Awards.

Since the release of Born & Raised, Fiji has dropped nine diverse albums showcasing his abilities to stretch Polynesian music as far as he can take it – from smooth soul music on projects like Born & Raised II: The Rebirth to straight hip hop tracks on projects like Indigenous Life.

Throughout his career, Fiji has collaborated and performed with many legends of the genre including Gladys Knight, Aaron Neville, Beres Hammond, Damian Jr. Gong Marley, Ziggy Marley, Ky-mani Marley, Steel Pulse, Maxi Priest and Inner Circle.

Now as an elder in the scene, he’s shown his devotion by helping bring up other artists and encouraging Polynesian unity through the TokoUso movement by promoting consciousness against gang violence for Pacific Islanders across the globe.

There will be a special tribute performance by Wellington artists Brownhill (Fiji’s live band when he performs in New Zealand), Wayno and Tomorrow People.

Pacific Music Awards show postponed to December

Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in Auckland, the Pacific Music Awards Trust has decided to postpone the date for the online presentation of the 2021 awards ceremony.

The winners will instead be celebrated in an online awards ceremony on Saturday 11 December at 7pm, screened by Tagata Pasifika on TP+ (tpplus.co.nz). This will be pre-recorded in line with Alert Level restrictions and include performances from the 2021 finalists.

Rev Mua Strickson-Pua says: “With this announcement we continue our thoughts of the saogalemu (safety) and manuia (wellbeing) of our communities and share our support during this time. We acknowledge the historic moment, the hard work of everyone involved and this opportunity to comfort, empower, and affirm our communities.

“Our Trust and event team are motivated to managing the challenges that Covid-19 brings and committed to producing the Pacific Music Awards event, to celebrate the Pacific music community. We hope everyone will join our online event and continue to take care and keep safe at this time. Be kind to each other. Together we are keeping to our tikanga and fa'avae, with wairua and alofa.”

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