The Pacific music industry was in full celebration last night with the winners for the 2019 Pacific Music Awards announced at the Sir Woolf Fisher Arena in Manukau, Auckland.
Kings won big at last year’s Pacific Music Awards, taking home five awards, and was in line to repeat that dominant haul again in 2019 on the back of his ‘Lov3 & 3go’ album. In the event, the judges’ multi-love was spread more widely, with Tomorrow People’s ‘BBQ Reggae’ EP winning Wellington’s 7-piece ‘sunshine reggae’ collective the major award of Best Pacific Music Album, along with matching trophies for Best Pacific Roots/Reggae Artist and Best Pacific Group. On top of all that winning Tomorrow People also claimed the people’s choice Best Pacific Artist award.
Kings certainly didn’t go home empty handed, his song 6 Figures named Best Pacific Song and the ‘Lov3 & 3go’ album winning him the Best Pacific Male Artist title, as well as the Best Producer (along with 10A – Tenei Kesha) title. Kings’ ruthless dominance in the singles department was further illustrated by his having three of the top five songs for the NZ On Air Streaming Award (one of the trophies he also lifted last year) being his, including the winner, Don’t Worry About It.
Already acclaimed in the world of hip hop dance, Razé (Ezra Williams) has evolved her passion into music and her single Not About You earned her both the Best Pacific Female Artist and Best Pacific Soul/RnB Artist awards.
Hip hop was the dominant genre among the finalists and Onehunga’s powerhouse group SWIDT were back at it again this year as well, picking up the Best Pacific Hip Hop Artist trophy for their EP ‘The Most Electrifying’.
Melodownz was named the recipient of the Phillip Fuemana Award for Most Promising Pacific Artist, a decision backed by his having opened recently for the likes of YG, Joey Bada$$ and Raekwon of Wu-Tang fame.
RnB & soul duo Adeaze (brothers Nainz and Viiz Tupa’i) made their first appearance at the Pacific Music Awards back in 2005, but took a break from music following their second album. Their return album, ‘A Mother’s Love’, is a loving tribute to their late mother that saw them named as Best Pacific Gospel Artist.
Having received the Lifetime Achievement award in 2018, Samoan group Punialava’a returned to the stage this year with their album ‘Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow O ananafi, O nei ma Taeao’ winning the Best Pacific Language award this year.
Not yet a teenager, General Fiyah has become a PMA regular along with Three Houses Down, and this year the combo claimed the Radio Airplay Award with their single Here To Stay. Villette’s unique virtual reality music video for Money won the Best Pacific Music Video award.
Solomon Islands’ singer Jaro Local was on hand to receive the award for Best International Pacific Artist and also showcase his catchy hit song Dakini Tangarareh.
The important Lifetime Achievement Award was this year made posthumously to Her Majesty Queen Sālote Tupou lll, who ruled the Kingdom of Tonga for 48 years until her passing in 1965. An avid writer of songs and poems, her work captured Tongan culture and heritage for the people of Tonga. An album of Queen Sālote’s compositions titled ‘Lomipeau Aotearoa’ was released in 2017.
It was an emotional roller coaster night, with the recent loss of actor Pua Magasiva and others also fresh to mind. Opening the night’s festivities, PMA Trust chairman and spokesperson Rev. Mua Strickson-Pua observed: “The 15th celebration of the Pacific Music Awards speaks of past achievements – but, just as important, the future. Humble Pacific music beginnings with global musical ramifications.”
In a fitting celebration, the colourful evening closed with a massive medley performance paying tribute to 15 years of the Pacific Music Awards.
Tomorrow People – ‘BBQ Reggae’
Kings – 6 Figures
Villette’s Money directed by Parker Howell, Baron VR
Kings & 10A
Punialava’a ‘Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow O ananafi, O nei ma Taeao’
General Fiyah feat Three Houses Down – Here To Stay
Kings – Don’t Worry About It
Jaro Local – Dakini Tangarareh