Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

20th Annual Pacific Music Awards finalists unveiled

Pacific Music Awards finalists. Photo: John Pulu / Tagata Pasifika.

In a landmark celebration of Pacific musical talent, the finalists for the 2024 Pacific Music Awards were announced last night at the Mangere Arts Centre in Auckland.

This year marks the 20th anniversary as well as reaching a new milestone with the highest number of entries. 27 finalists are vying for top honours across 13 categories.

(L-R): Shepherd’s Reign members and Signature Choir alongside other finalists. Photo: John Pulu / Tagata Pasifika.

Leading the nominations is the Polynesian metal band Shepherds Reign, with six nominations, including Flava Best Pacific Group and SunPix Best Pacific Language. Their album Ala Mai and music video for Nafanua have also earned them nods in several categories.

Samoan-Indian artist Aaradhna is a close contender with five nominations, including Auckland Council Best Pacific Female Artist and Pacificast Best Pacific Soul/RnB Artist. Her empowering song She has also been recognised in multiple categories.

Hip hop sensation Diggy Dupé has secured four nominations, including NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male Artist and Matai Best Pacific Hip Hop Artist for his track We The City

Onehunga rap crew SWIDT are up for three awards matching the same number of nominations as Tokelauan singer Olivia Foa’i. 

Notably, 12 first-time finalists have emerged this year, acknowledging the growing depth and talent in Pacific music. 

Among the nominees are artists like Sam V, Kings, Signature Choir, and Jordyn with a Why.

To commemorate the 20th anniversary, all winners will receive a special timepiece created in collaboration with the brand Matai, symbolising two decades of Pacific Music excellence. 

Rev Mua Strickson-Pua. Photo: John Pulu / Tagata Pasifika.

Rev Mua Strickson-Pua, spokesperson for the Pacific Music Awards Trust, emphasised the significance of this milestone. 

“Honouring and celebrating 20 years of Pacific Music Awards acknowledges the contributions of Pasifika families, communities, and nations. Our musical journey has been blessed, and we look forward to continuing this legacy.”

Trustee and Event Producer Petrina Togi-Sa’ena added to that. 

“Celebrating 20 years is a testament to the growth and importance of the Pacific music community. Our Tautua Programme will connect with communities across Aotearoa, and we are excited about our legacy project supporting new Pacific language songs”.

Public voting for the SunPix People’s Choice Award is now open, with all nominees eligible. Fans can cast their votes on the PMA website until Friday, August 9.

The winners will be celebrated at a grand event on Thursday, August 29, at the Due Drop Events Centre in Manukau. Tickets are available via Eventfinda.

For more information and to listen to the nominees, you can visit the official PMA 2024 Finalist Playlist on Spotify.

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