Organisers were clearly pleased to announce a record number of entries and name the finalists for the 2021 Pacific Music Awards which will be staged in Manukau on September 1st this year. Across the 13 award categories, there is a record 27 finalists, with South Auckland soul sensation Tree leading the nominations.
On the consistent strength of her self-produced debut album, ‘Mrs Tree’, Katerina Manu, better known as Tree, is named as a finalist in three main artist categories, Best Pacific Music Album, Best Pacific Female Artist, Best Pacific Language, and also for Best Pacific Music Video for Afio Ane Loa, which she co-directed. Currently touring in Australia, multi-genre singer/songwriter Tree is an alumnus of Auckland Girls Grammar and headlined the main stage at Auckland’s Pasifika Festival earlier this year.
Another debut album, ‘Moonlight Madness’, sees fellow Tāmaki Makaurau-based soul-funk specialist Lou’ana (Whitney) also named as a finalist for the Best Pacific Music Album and Best Pacific Female Artist categories, along with a third for Best Pacific Soul/R&B Artist.
On the men’s side, hip hop heavyweight Kings’ latest single Help Me Out, which recently went gold, sees him again in the running for Best Pacific Male Artist, Best Pacific Music Video and Best Pacific Song. [That last category also features Jawsh 685’s global smash, Savage Love (Laxed -Siren Beat), making it a tough one for others to compete in.] Singer/songwriter Lepani is similarly up for three awards – Best Pacific Music Album, Best Pacific Soul/R&B Artist and as Best Producer, another of several hard-fought categories for the judges.
Having won four Pacific Music Awards (Best Group, Best Hip Hop Artist, Radio Airplay, and Best Producer) and Best Hip Hop Artist at the Aotearoa Music Awards for their debut album ‘Teeth’ last year, hip hop duo Church & AP (Elijah Manu and Albert Purcell) are back with two 2021 trophy opportunities – for Best Pacific Group and Best Pacific Hip Hop Artist.
Noting that 2020 was one of our most unique and challenging times that we have all experienced, Pacific Music Awards Trust spokesperson Rev. Mua Strickson-Pua said that the Trust members are heartened by the immense talent, determination and resilience shown by Pacific artists.”
“With the largest number of submissions in the history of Pacific Music awards received this year, we acknowledge this bodes well for our Pacific music community and also the Aotearoa New Zealand Music industry. We are grateful that our artists can draw from a very rich Pacific history and continue to determine their own pathways forward.”
For more information: www.pacificmusicawards.org.nz