Due to the continuing threat of Covid-19 the 2020 Waiata Māori Music Awards event was staged online on Friday, October 9.
L.A.B further illustrated their recent dominance of the local scene with four major awards for 2020 – claiming the Best Single by a Māori Artist (In The Air), Best Pop Album by a Māori Artist (‘L.A.B. III’), Best Māori Group and Best Māori Songwriter titles.
“I want to give a massive shout out to our families,” said vocalist Joel Shadbolt after winning the Best Pop Album Award. “Nothing happens without sacrifice, and as a lot of you know, following your dreams and what you want to do in a creative life, requires a lot of sacrifice. When you get recognition for what you do, it makes your family proud and the people in your life proud, thanks so much Waiata Māori Music Awards.”
Ria Hall was named winner of the Best Māori Female Solo Artist Award, while Troy Kingi won Best Māori Male Solo Artist. Well used to the podium by now, Kingi also claimed the award for Best Roots Reggae Album by a Māori Artist for ‘Holy Colony Burning Acres’, along with Best Music Video of the Year by a Māori Artist Award for single Ethiopia.
In the event’s Iconic Awards section, Upper Hutt Posse founder Darryl Leigh Thomson (DLT) was the recipient of the Lifetime Contribution To Māori Music Award, recognising his work as a singer, songwriter, producer and mentor for many young Polynesian hip hop artists, as well as being an advocate for all things Māori.
The Best Te Reo Māori Album Award went to Wellington band, Grove Roots. Best Hip Hop Album by a Māori Artist was won by Rei for ‘Hoea’, while Samoan-Māori musician La CoCo won Best RnB Album by a Māori Artist for her ‘Grateful’ album.
A unique waiata combining the voices of Rob Ruha (composer), Maisey Rika, Horomona Horo, Majic Paora, Troy Kingi, Ria Hall, Seth Haapu and Bella Kalolo, won this year’s Radio Airplay Song of the Year by a Māori Artist in Te Reo Award. The song, Ka Mānu was recorded to support the Ihumātao land protectors.