With two of the five finalists – Nadia Reid (Richard) and Aldous Harding (Horizon) – hailing from that part of the world, it was an ideal year for the 2017 APRA Silver Scroll Award ceremony to head south for a first-ever presentation in Dunedin.
Sadly neither was able to claim the night’s big prize, which unsurprisingly went to Lorde for Green Light, the first single off her ‘Melodrama’ album. It will be her second engraving on the prestigious Silver Scroll trophy, with Royals having won her the 2013 award.
Ella Yelich-O’Connor and her Green Light co-writers, Jack Antonoff and Joel Little, weren’t present, Ella instead sending a video message of thanks from the U.S.
“Thank you for honouring Green Light, which is a song I love so much and am so proud of. The second it came out, I knew it felt like a bit of my heart, right in the song.”
Bic Runga was the other finalist in with the chance make it a second Silver Scroll win, having won the award exactly two decades ago, back in 1997, with Sway. The fifth songwriter of the all-female finalist pool was Chelsea Jade with her song Life Of The Party.
Wellington composer and violinist, Salina Fisher, won the SOUNZ Contemporary Award for the second year in a row. Her haunting composition, Tōrino, was inspired by the work of Palmerston North taonga puoro artist Rob Thorne. Rob accepted the award on Salina’s behalf because she is currently studying at the Manhattan School of Music in New York.
The APRA Maioha Award provided the best surprise of the night with teenage heavy metal trio Alien Weaponry winning it with their song Raupatu that raises awareness of land confiscations by the colonial government. Brothers Henry and Lewis de Jong, along with Ethan Trembath had also made it into the last 20 judging section of the Silver Scroll.
Claire Cowan, another first-time finalist received the APRA Best Original Music in a Series Award for her soundtrack for TV mini-series ‘Hillary’, which celebrated the life of Sir Edmund Hillary. The Best Original Music in a Feature Film Award was won by soundtrack specialist Tim Prebble for his emotive work on the independent film ‘One Thousand Ropes’.
Appropriately, and a likely a catalyst for the Dunedin Town Hall venue, APRA’s 2017 induction into the NZ Music Hall of Fame was The Clean – Hamish Kilgour, David Kilgour, Robert Scott and Peter Gutteridge. An introduction and meaningful tribute to the iconic Dunedin band was provided by local poet David Merritt, followed a striking live performance by Dunedin act Astro Children along with the still-incredible Billy TK.