Dominated by new artists last year, the annual event has seen a resurgence of established talent in 2016, showing that Pacific music is alive and well and more popular than ever.

With 18 finalists in line for wins in the 11 categories, artists Annie Grace, Te Vaka and Vince Harder lead the pack with four finals nods apiece. Included in Annie’s tally is the coveted ‘Best Pacific Female Artist’, while Vince Harder has among his the ‘Best Pacific Male Artist’ award. Te Vaka’s four includes one for ‘Best Pacific Group’.

The Awards also introduce, for the first time this year, the Best Producer category sponsored by MAINZ

Vodafone Pacific Music Awards Trust spokesperson Rev. Mua Strickson-Pua notes the artists leading the finals list are recognised luminaries in the industry, but adds they are joined by a surge of new talent.

“Last year we saw 11 artists brand new to the awards; this year, we’ve got a combination of established musicians and newcomers. That’s evidence of the vibrancy of this industry, which recognises and retains its history while constantly breaking ground with fresh new music.”

On the new category, he says the input of producers is deserving of recognition given the expertise required for the role and its contribution to the creation of quality sound recordings.

“MAINZ is proud to continue to be associated with the Vodafone Pacific Music Awards and welcomes the opportunity to sponsor the Best Producer category at the 2016 Awards,” says Christine Fenton, MAINZ General Manger. “MAINZ provides pathways from foundation through to degree for Contemporary Music performance, Audio Engineering and Music Production”.

Strickson-Pua says Pacific music has enjoyed a rich heritage, stretching back over the better part of a century, and often spilling over in to broader culture both nationally and internationally.

“Tradition, culture and heritage: it all comes together through the work of these artists, new and experienced alike. The Vodafone Pacific Music Awards are set to be another exciting evening which shouldn’t be missed.”

In addition to the entered categories, four additional awards will also be presented on the big night; the Manukau Institute of Technology Lifetime Achievement Awards, NZ On Air Radio Airplay Award, Phillip Fuemana Award for Most Promising Pacific Artist, and the Vodafone People’s Choice Award.

All of the 2016 finalists will all be up for the Vodafone People’s Choice Award for Best Pacific Artist. The winner is solely determined by public vote.

The winner of the Best Pacific album category is presented with a Tui and recognised at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards later this year.

The awards are now in their 12th year and the winners will be announced at an event celebrating and honouring Pacific music and artists at the Vodafone Events Centre on Thursday 9 June.

Tickets to the ceremony will be available through TicketDirect. www.ticketdirect.co.nz

0800 224 224. (Please note a booking fee may apply).

All the Vodafone Pacific Music Awards finalists

Virgin Australia Best Pacific Female Artist award:

  • Annie Grace with ‘The Journey’
  • Rosie Everything with ‘Rosie’
  • Tree with ‘Sweet Lovin’

NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male Artist award:

  • Beau Monga with ‘King and Queen’
  • K.One with ‘Out of Thin Air’
  • Vince Harder with ‘Rare Vision’

Niu FM Best Pacific Urban Artist award:

  • Beau Monga with ‘King and Queen’
  • Ill Semantics with ‘Trillogy’
  • Vince Harder with ‘Rare Vision’

Radio 531pi Best Pacific Group award:

  • Sol3 Mio with ‘On Another Note’
  • Te Vaka with ‘Amataga’
  • Tomorrow People with ‘Bass & Bassinets’

NZ On Air Best Pacific Music Video award:

  • K. One with ‘So Good’ (Directed by Kaleb Vitale & Mark Arona)
  • Team Dynamite with ‘Cosmos ReUp’ (Directed by Eddy Fifield)
  • Vince Harder with ‘Shot Me Down’ (Directed by Shae Sterling)

APRA Best Pacific Song award:

  • Annie Grace with ‘E Le Galo’ (written by Annie Tonumali’i and Pearl Va’afusuaga)
  • Mal Lakatani with ‘Fiti Lagakali’ (written by Mekemiliani Ikinepule and Malakamu Lakatani)
  • Te Vaka with ‘Papua I Sisifo’ (written by Opetaia Foa’i)

SunPix Best Pacific Language award:

  • Mal Lakatani with ‘Fiti Lagakali’
  • Te Vaka with ‘Amataga’
  • Tha Feelstyle with ‘Sasa’

Best Pacific Gospel Artist award:

  • Annie Grace with ‘The Journey’
  • Revere with ‘Set Apart’
  • TJ Taotua with ‘Firstly’

Flava Best International Pacific Artist award:

  • Common Kings with ‘Hits & Mrs’
  • Ezra James with ‘Runaway’
  • Makisi with ‘Famili’

Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album award:

  • Annie Grace with ‘The Journey’
  • Sol3 Mio with ‘On Another Note’
  • Te Vaka with ‘Amataga’

MAINZ Best Producer award:

  • Ill Semantics with ‘Trillogy’ (produced by Nox, Yorel, CXL)
  • K. One with ‘Out of Thin Air’ (produced by Nox)
  • Rosie Everything with ‘Rosie’ (produced by Dee Letoa)
  • Tomorrow People with ‘Bass & Bassinets’ (produced by Avina Kelekolio & Tana Tupai)
  • Vince Harder with ‘Start Again’ / Rare Vision (produced by Vince Harder)

All the finalists:

  • Annie Grace The Journey
  • Beau Monga ‘King & Queen’
  • Common Kings Hits & Mrs
  • Ezra James ‘Runaway’
  • Ill Semantics Trillogy
  • K.One Out of Thin Air
  • Makisi Famili
  • Mal Lakatani ‘Fiti Lagakali’
  • Revere ‘Set Apart’
  • Rosie Everything's Rosie
  • Sol3 Mio On Another Note
  • 12. Team Dynamite ‘Cosmos ReUp’
  • 13. Te Vaka Amataga
  • Tha Feelstyle ‘Sasa’
  • TJ Taotua ‘Firstly’
  • Tomorrow People Bass & Bassinets
  • Tree ‘Sweet Lovin’
  • Vince Harder Rare Vision

For more information: www.pacificmusicawards.org.nz

Pead PR: Lily Batt, Phone: +64 (9) 551 2375 Mobile: 027 778 6520 Email: Lily(at)peadpr.co.nz

PMAT Chairman and spokesperson: Rev. Mua Strickson-Pua. Phone: 021 1418798. Email: stricksonpua(at)xtra.co.nz
PMAT contact person: Petrina Togi-Sa’ena. Phone: 027 245 1898. Email: info(at)pacificmusicawards.org.nz