The finalists for the 2011 Polynesian Blue Pacific Music Awards have been announced.
Nesian Mystik leads the pack, while South Island groups join the mix for the first time.
The finalists for the 2011 Polynesian Blue Pacific Music Awards have been announced with much-loved hip-hop and R&B group Nesian Mystik named in four categories, and Ladi6 and Pacific Underground each named in three.
For the first time in the Pacific Music Awards’ seven-year history, two South Island groups are in the running for awards. Both Christchurch and Dunedin-based groups are included in the nominations.
Auckland-based hip-hop and R&B group Nesian Mystik are finalists in the Best Pacific Group and Best Pacific Urban Artist categories, while their fourth studio album ‘99 A.D’ has secured the group a nomination for Best Pacific Music Album. Their melodic single ’Sun Goes Down’ is also a finalist for Best Pacific Song.
No strangers to the Pacific Music Awards, Nesian Mystik’s diverse cultural backgrounds unite Maori, Tongan, Samoan and Cook Island ancestry to create a distinctive Polynesian sound that has helped make the group a household name in New Zealand.
Christchurch-born artist Ladi6’s second album "The Liberation of…" has a secured her a slot in the Best Pacific Music Album and Best Pacific Urban categories, while her soulful and distinctive vocals have also a secured her a nomination for Best Pacific Female Artist, for which she will compete against pop-R&B diva Erakah and Wellingtonian music veteran Bella Kalolo.
"The Liberation of…" was recorded while Ladi6 was in the middle of a six-month European/UK tour, which saw her grace stages alongside the likes of Gil Scott-Heron, Mos Def and Mayer Hawthorne. Recorded in just two months, the album combines Ladi6’s unique blend of hip-hop, soul and funk to create an album that has local and international audiences mesmerised.
Christchurch group Pacific Underground will battle it out against Nesian Mystik and Hypnotics in the Best Pacific Music Group category. Their album ’Island Summer’ has also secured Pacific Underground nominations in the Best Pacific Language and Best Pacific Music Album categories.
"Island Summer" is Pacific Underground’s second album and was named after their live show, which received rave reviews, and combines the flavours of the warm tropics with soul and nostalgia in the superbly crafted original songs and traditional music of Samoa.
The winner of the Best Pacific Music Album category will be presented with a Tui and recognised at the New Zealand Music Awards later this year.
Hip-hop sensation J Williams will go head-to-head with Young Sid and Vince Harder for the hotly contested Best Pacific Male Artist title. Vince Harder has also received a second nomination in the Best Pacific Urban Artist category.
A total of 16 artists and groups were announced as finalists at a function in Auckland on 15 April, hosted by His Worship Mayor Len Brown and the Pacific Awards Music Trust, at the University of Auckland’s Fale Pasifika venue.
Pacific Music Awards Trust spokesperson Rev. Mua Strickson-Pua says,
"This year’s line-up of finalists is testament to the talent and creativity of Pacific artists here in Aotearoa.
"It’s encouraging and truly exciting to see that not only do we have established artists up for nomination, we also have a new generation of talented artists coming through – something that is crucial in helping to keep Pasifika alive in New Zealand.
"We’d also like to welcome our new naming rights sponsor Polynesian Blue, which has kindly stepped up to support the Pacific Music Awards. In a way, just like the awards, it helps to connect people – although the airline does it through travel while we do it through music,"
The awards are in their seventh year and winners are to be announced at an event celebrating and honouring Pacific music and artists at Manukau City’s TelstraClear Pacific venue on 28 May.
The Auckland Council People’s Choice Award was introduced to the line-up for the Best Pacific Artist in 2008. All category finalists are eligible for the award with the public able to vote by logging onto www.pacificmusicawards.org.nz
Tickets for the awards ceremony are available from 15 April through TicketDirect.
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