9-5ers is a collective of creatives; SFT (Usual suspects), H boogie (Nesian Mystik), Edgar (Midnight gallery) and Sabe (Nesian Mystik). The name comes from everyone holding down 9-5pm type jobs and yet still pursuing their passion, which in this case, is music.
The new wave collective experiments with an eclectic array of styles from the beat culture, which is a producer focused genre. Last year was a busy initial year, but the group are not shying away from the balancing act with multiple projects set to be released in 2018. 9-5ers are nominated for ‘Pacific Media Network Best Pacific Urban Artist.
EFKS Te Atatu Junior Youth is a 45-member Youth Choir from the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (EFKS) in Te Atatu, Auckland, led by Rev. Elder Lucky and Terri Slade. Established in 1985, the EFKS Te Atatu Junior Youth has been active in the local community for the past 30 years. In October 2017 they released their debut album, "Fa'afetai le Atua' under the musical direction of Metitilani Alo and the production mastery of award-winning producer - Emmanuel Ensink. EFKS Te Atatu Junior Youth are nominated to for three categories this year, Sunpix Best Pacific Language, Auckland Council Best Pacific Gospel Artist and Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album.
Nicholas Pome’e also known General Fiyah is the offspring member of the Three Houses Down family. Making his first ever appearance at the 2016 One Love festival, where he instantly became a crowd favourite. The 11-year-old singing and performing sensation from South Auckland gained international recognition when he featured on the Three Houses Down smash hit ‘Love and Affection’ released late 2016 year. Being surrounded by a musical family with his father and uncles, General Fiyah also grew up with his grandfather teaching him how to sing. General Fiyah is nominated for Apra Best Pacific Song, NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male Artist and his song ‘Here to Stay’ is also nominated for NZ ON AIR Best Pacific Music Video directed by Samson Rambo. The young star is set to prove he’s far from being a one hit wonder and that his music is not to be taken lightly.
Junior Maile is based in Utah, USA and comes from a strong background rich with music. With brothers, cousins, and uncles involved in music, both professionally & recreationally, it provides several avenues of inspiration for Maile to draw from. Junior’s maternal roots stem from American Samoa, while his patriarchal side originates from the friendly islands of Tonga. These tropical islands are world renowned for the strength of their paradisiacal voices. Junior’s unique vocal style is a product of that power and beauty from his Polynesian heritage, enhanced by a soulful R&B feel that was influenced by his upbringing down south. Junior is nominated for Flava Best International Pacific Artist.
KINGS first caught the attention of New Zealanders in the summer of 2015 with what would become his chart-topping debut single ‘Don’t Worry Bout it’. Known as a musical shapeshifter in terms of the styles he fuses together in the studio. As an artists, producer, director and designer of artwork, he has always encouraged artists and musicians to do things themselves and to study the game thoroughly. His first album ‘Chapter One’ was released last year, and in his own words ‘It was only right that I do this entire project the way I preach. From directing the music videos to designing the cover art, everything is written, produced, mixed, and mastered the way I intended, with the hope that it encourages YOU to do the same thing." Kings is nominated for NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male and SIT/MAINZ Best Producer
La Coco is a Samoan and Maori music artist from Mangere, South Auckland. She started singing at an early age in church surrounded by Gospel and traditional hymn music. In her early adult years, she started performing as a live backing vocalist and studio recording session singer for many of NZ local artists which then led to recording material of her own. The soul artist grounds her music in RnB/Gospel Soul with little reflections of Jazz, Hip-hop.
“My sound is thick just like my hips. My music has my attitude and confidence with its full-bodied grooves. The Soul driven harmonies and melodies add colour and dimension to my pieces, that’s them Gospel roots coming through”
La Coco is looking at how her next pieces of music can influence positivity, inspire and utilize youth of her South Auckland community. La Coco is nominated for Virgin Australia Best Pacific Female.
Ladi6 are an r’n’b, electronic neo soul band. Ladi was a rapper for the only all-female NZ hip-hop crew Sheelahroc. Ladi took up singing duties alongside Parks to form their first band together, Verse Two. During that time they met their drummer Julien Dyne, and years later went on to meet their keyboardist/co-producer, Brandon Haru to form the current line-up of, Ladi6. Royal Blue 3000, is their first and only musical project completely produced by the band, and in that way is something utterly unique in their careers. Created completely by improvised winter parties called the Alpha Sessions in both 2015 and 2016 they have added for themselves yet another layer to their ever growing musical evolution. Ladi6 is fast becoming recognizable for their reframing of a 90s/early 2000s neo-soul and hip-hop style their early music was built on mix-matched with a minimal futuristic electronic sound, creating these new songs with the intention to move the masses with feel-style over everything. This, combined with a renewed focus on live performance and production they continue to keep this band relevant in a modern ever-changing music industry. Ladi6 are nominated for three categories, Virgin Australia Best Pacific Female, Recorded Music NZ Best Music Album, and the Royal Blue 3000 EP is also nominated for SIT/MAINZ Best Producer.
Niue Youth Network are a dynamic multi-talented group of amazing, vibrant Niueans nominated for Auckland Council Best Pacific Gospel Artist, focused on doing their part to protect and revitalise their endangered Mother Language, Vagahau Niue! Most of the group members are NZ-born and they work hard to preserve and retain the popular traditional hymns, and maintain the modern hymns. They have taken their Niue community and we are very proud of their collective hard work. Kia Monuina ma Tau Fuata Niue!
Noah Slee Grew up in a Tongan household in West Auckland, NZ, he listened to African reggae through a wood laminate stereo and woke to the clamour of Earth Wind and Fire. Everything is gathered, disembodied and reimagined. Noah combines traditional soul influences whilst experimenting with electronic production, blending an array of genres ranging from future beats, contemporary soul, prog RnB to indie-electronica. Noah is nominated for Pacific Media Network Best Pacific Urban, NZ ON AIR Best Pacific Music Video, NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male and Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album.
Born and raised in South Auckland, a growing social media following and stemming from the world of Dance/Hip-hop coming second place representing NZ with her academy IDCO at the International Hip-hop Worlds, Razé is now taking another route of Hip-hop that is all too familiar, with a Bachelors in Creative Arts in tow. Having Music surround her since birth it has strongly influenced her passion for the art of music, song writing and creative wording with her melodies. Razé and her unique, majestic, trap, vocal tone weaving in and out of her underground sound is a rare mix she wishes to share and take to the world representing not only herself but all underground artists, using her as a platform to be heard and acknowledged. Razé is nominated for Virgin Australia Best Pacific Female Artist.
Fijian Born Sam Kiles was raised in a family of musicians, he fostered a blend of reggae and soul with hints of contemporary folk and bluesy undertones. Singer/songwriter based out of Los Angeles, California
Made up of two tenor brothers, Pene and Amitai Pati from Mangere, and their North Shore baritone cousin Moses Mackay, SOL3 MIO is the combination of three powerful and moving operatic voices, with more than a dash of uncontainable Samoan humour. By their own definition they are first and foremost classical singers bridging the gap with contemporary , but the unique way in which they do it has already shown the potential to cut through the critical cognoscenti, and appeal to audiences who wouldn’t normally be found anywhere near an aria. Their onstage brotherly bonhomie, off the cuff banter and impeccable comedic timing is no act, simply an extension of their natural selves, and the culmination of a lifetime’s worth of singing, performing and entertaining. SOL3 Mio are nominated for Pacific Media Network Best Pacific Group and Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album.
SWIDT, which stands for ‘SEE WHAT I DID THERE’, broke onto the music scene with their independently produced single & video ‘No More Parties In Onehunga’ in early 2016. Comprised of five members, producer SmokeyGotBeatz (producer credits for TDE / HS87), rap duo SPYCC & INF, JAMAL and Boomer-Tha-GOD. In 2017 they dropped their critically acclaimed SWIDT album called 'Stoneyhunga'. Continuing on into 2018, SWIDT have continued to work around the clock touring the NZ scene's summer festivals as well as working on new music for 2018! SWIDT are nominated for Pacific Media Network Best Pacific Urban Artist and Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album.
Founded and Spearheaded by Opetaia Foa’i (multi award-winning and currently Grammy-nominated composer and songwriter on Disney's Moana), Te Vaka is a Contemporary Polynesian band acclaimed for its distinct original sound and un-touristy devotion to the South Pacific and the stories of its ancestors. After 9 studio albums, over 20 years of touring to 40 countries, hit songs like Pate Pate and Tamahana (from the Legend of Johnny Lingo soundtrack). Walt Disney Records released Te Vaka’s Greatest Hits - Songs that Inspired Moana. This album included a bonus track, Lakalaka which is nominated for three categories this year. The NZ ON AIR Best Pacific Music Video, APRA Best Pacific Song and Sunpix Best Pacific Language.
Tenelle Christine Luafalemana has been described by many as "a breath of fresh air." Her natural beauty and wholesome smile permeates on stage as she captivates listeners with her soulful sultry sound. Tenelle isn't exactly sure of when her love for singing first started, but suggests that "growing up in Carson Ca, with a big family, where talent shows are more competitive than the X-Factor itself, may have well did it!" As a child, Tenelle recalls listening to artists such as Lauryn Hill, Betty Wright, and Gwen Stefani, while watching films such as the original Sparkle, dreaming of the big stage. Years later she would find herself on that stage performing her #1 hit singles "Flava" and "Get Some" in front of hundreds and thousands of people all over the world including Japan, New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific Islands, and the U.S. Tenelle is nominated for Flava Best International Pacific Artist.
THD (Three Houses Down) have been around for a decade and since then have achieved a lot, 2 studio albums "breakout" (featuring the award winning single 'KANIKAPILA') and "Dreadtown" which got the band touring the US, AUS, Hawaii and South Pacific. Following a busy schedule we have put an EP out "Moon and back" with hit singles, "She's my woman" feat Spawn Breezie. This is a band that always brings their A game to the stage and no doubt a hard act to follow. THD are nominated for Pacific Media Network Best Pacific Group.
TJ Taotua is a singer-songwriter and an R’n’B, Soul, Gospel Artist. He has made opening appearances for artist such Musiq SoulChild, KC & Jo Jo, Montell Jordan, Sean Paul, SpawnBreezie, Fiji Veikoso and more recently at the end of 2017 he had the opportunity to open for RNB great Eric Benet. He has over 20 years experience in the music industry both as a performer and manager of Pacific music talent. His influences include artist such as Stevie Wonder, Eric Benet, Brian Mcknight, Maxwell, Boys To Men, Joe and Tank to name a few. TJ is nominated for Auckland Council Best Pacific Gospel Artist.
With a goal to sit amongst the top tier of New Zealand roots musicians, TOMORROW PEOPLE achieved that in less than 2 years since their birth in 2010. Several years later, they have cemented themselves in the New Zealand music scene after releasing 2 full length albums, 2 EPs, 23 radio singles, 15 music videos and 5 music features with other artists. Focused on providing a mid-tempo sound that, while clearly reggae-centric, adds touches of dancehall raga to its colour. It is a sound built around strong vocals, soothing harmonies, catchy hooks, aggressive ragga raps, and feel good riddims. Labelled by some as the hardest working band in the country, this is likely due to the fact that Tomorrow People wrote, recorded, produced and mixed all their music themselves or it may be because they edit their own videos, design their own artwork, manage their own strategies, devise their own marketing plan and book their own tours, all while holding down full time day jobs. Tomorrow People are nominated for Pacific Media Network Best Pacific Group, APRA Best Pacific Song and Sunpix Best Pacific Language.