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Musicians, industry icons band together for 2022 Pacific Music Award finalists announcements.

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Pacific Music Awards Finalists for 2022
Pacific Music Awards Finalists for 2022. Photo: Facebook
Kendall Vano | Reporter

It’s been two years since Pasifika musicians have been able to come together to celebrate the Pacific Music Awards. This week they gathered in Auckland for the announcement of this year’s nominees. 

Across 13 awards categories, this year’s 26 finalists are a mix of new musicians debuting music, established Pacific music icons and everything in between.

Making his debut at the PMAs is Sam V who is up for his first nomination for Best Pacific Soul/RnB Artist. 

Sam V says, “it feels like a coming of age story, like “Stand by me”…I just moved into music full time this year so to get recognition for my craft this time, this is the first time I’ve had something like it.

I think if I can pay homage to anyone it’s to young artists who are considering pursuing  music as a full-time endeavour, yeah this goes out to them and to the people that have helped me with my journey,” adds Sam V.   

Emily Muli received nominations for her solo work and as part of the musical collective House of Misfits. 

“My grandmother, who I can’t wait to go home and tell her about the news, my parents, I come from a really tight-knit Tongan family and I think for them to be able to support me and what I do has been incredible”  

Also up for an award is Tomorrow People (Avina Kelekolo, Tana Tupai) who have become  one of the most nominated music ensembles in the history of the Pacific Music Awards. They are up for four awards, raising their nomination count to twenty since participating in 2013.

Tana Tupai says, “it just so happens that just the other week. It’s been 10 years since the release of our first ever Tomorrow People album…yeah, Looking back at that and still being here amongst the younger ones that are coming through…we’re very privileged and humbled to be amongst it still.” . 

The nine Debut Finalists are: 

  • House of Misfits (531pi Best Gospel Artist , NZ On Air Best Pacific Music Video) 
  • Anthem (531pi Best Gospel Artist)
  • Bina Butta and Kennyon Brown (Niu FM Best International Artist) 
  • Foundation (One Love Best Pacific Roots/Reggae Artist)
  • Lisi (Niu FM Best International Artist) 
  • Mo Etc. (Auckland Council Best Female Artist) 
  • Sam V (Best Pacific Soul/RnB Artist) 
  • Sammielz (One Love Best Pacific Roots/Reggae Artist)

Honourable recognition goes out to Diggy Dupé, a finalist for NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male Artist for his track ‘WEON’. And for their work on ‘The Panthers’ miniseries, Diggy Dupé, Choicevaughan and P.Smith are finalists for NZ On Air Best Pacific Music Video for the track ‘Ain’t The Same ft. Melodownz & Summer Vaha’akolo’. 

2022 Pacific Music Awards finalists:

Auckland Council Best Pacific Female Artist:

Emily Muli – ‘Break’

Mo Etc. – Oceanbed

Tree – ‘No Fear ft Junior Soqeta’

NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male Artist:

Diggy Dupé – ‘WEON’

Kings – Raplist, ‘Young 4Eva’

Poetik – Poetik Justice

Flava Best Pacific Group:

SWIDT – ‘Seize the Day ft Savage’, ‘Kelz Garage’, ‘312 Day’

Team Dynamite – Respect The Process

Tomorrow People – 21

NZ On Air Best Pacific Music Video:

Diggy Dupé, choicevaughan & P. Smith – ‘Ain’t The Same ft. Melodownz & Summer Vaha’akolo’

o Directed by Tom Hern

House of Misfits – ‘Tā Te Manawa’

o Directed by Abigail Dougherty

Vallé – ‘Swing Low’

o Directed by Connor Pritchard

APRA Best Pacific Song:

Kings – ‘Young 4Eva’

o Written by Kingdon Chapple-Wilson

Samson Squad – ‘Amene’

o Written by Jacob Samson, Tautape Samson & Jayjay Samson

SWIDT ‘Kelz Garage’

o Written by Daniel Latu, Amon McGoram. Lomez Brown, Samuel Verlinden

SunPix Best Pacific Language:

Kas Futialo – Grandmasta Kas

Lani Alo – ‘Tua i manu’

Samson Squad – ‘Kainga’, ‘Amene’

Shepherds Reign – ‘Nga Ao E Rua’

Base FM & Island Base FM Best Pacific Hip Hop Artist:

Poetik – Poetik Justice

SWIDT – ‘Seize the Day ft Savage’, ‘Kelz Garage’, ‘312 Day’

Team Dynamite – Respect The Process

Best Pacific Soul/RnB Artist:

Emily Muli – ‘Break’

Sam V – ‘Wired’, ‘Biker Boy’

TJ Taotua – Overdue

One Love Best Pacific Roots/Reggae Artist:

Foundation – ‘Closer’

Sammielz – ‘Okay’

Tomorrow People – 21

Victor J Sefo – ‘Pele Ea’, ‘Ride’, ‘Shots’

531pi Best Pacific Gospel Artist:

Anthem – Anthem

Tree – ‘No Fear ft Junior Soqeta’

House of Misfits ‘Tā Te Manawa’

Niu FM Best International Pacific Artist:

Bina Butta & Kennyon Brown – ‘Lady Love’

Jaro Local – ‘Kamanda Amanda’, ‘First Time’, ‘Single Papa’, ‘25 Minutes’

Lisi – ‘Good Life’, ‘Dreams’, ‘Til the Death’, ‘Baby We On’

Best Producer

Diggy Dupé, choicevaughan & P. Smith – The Panthers OST

o Producers: Diggy Dupé, choicevaughan, P Smith

Team Dynamite – Respect The Process

o Producer: Harry (Haz Beats) Huavi

Tomorrow People – 21

o Producers: IKON MUSIC – Avina Kelekolio, Hennie Tui, Tana Tupai

Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album:

Diggy Dupé, choicevaughan & P. Smith – The Panthers OST

Kings – Raplist

Tomorrow People – 21

All the artist finalists:

Anthem – Anthem

Bina Butta & Kennyon Brown – ‘Lady Love’

Diggy Dupé – ‘WEON’

– Diggy Dupé, choicevaughan & P. Smith – The Panthers OST

– Emily Muli – ‘Break’

Foundation – ‘Closer’

House of Misfits – ‘Tā Te Manawa’

Jaro Local – ‘Kamanda Amanda’, ‘First Time’, ‘Single Papa’, ‘25 Minutes’

Kas Futialo – Grandmasta Kas

Kings – Raplist, ‘Young 4Eva’

– Lani Alo – ‘Tua i manu’

Lisi – ‘Good Life’, ‘Dreams’, ‘Til the Death’, ‘Baby We On’

Mo Etc. – Oceanbed

Poetik – Poetik Justice

Sam V – ‘Wired’, ‘Biker Boy’

Sammielz – ‘Okay’

Samson Squad – ‘Kainga’, ‘Amene’

Shepherds Reign – ‘Nga Ao E Rua’

SWIDT – ‘Seize the Day ft Savage’, ‘Kelz Garage’, ‘312 Day’

Team Dynamite – Respect The Process

TJ Taotua – Overdue

Tomorrow People – 21

Tree – ‘No Fear ft Junior Soqeta’

Vallé – ‘Swing Low’

Victor J Sefo – ‘Pele Ea’, ‘Ride’, ‘Shots’

Other finalists include:

Ms Tree (Best Gospel Artist and Auckland Council Best Pacific Female Artist)

Emily Muli (Auckland Council Best Pacific Female Artist, Best Pacific Soul/RnB Artist)

Samson Squad (SunPix Best Pacific Language, APRA Best Pacific Song for ‘Amene’)

Shepherds Reign (SunPix Best Pacific Language)

Kas Futialo (SunPix Best Pacific Language)

Lani Alo (SunPix Best Pacific Language)

TJ Taotua (Best Pacific Soul/RnB Artist)

Victor J Sefo (One Love Best Pacific Roots/Reggae Artist)

Vallé (NZ On Air Best Pacific Music Video for ‘Swing Low’)

Jaro Local (Niu FM Best International Pacific Artist)

The winner of the Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album category is presented with an official Tūī and recognised at the Aotearoa Music Awards later in the year. The APRA Best Pacific Song Award recipient will also be recognised at the APRA Silver Scroll Awards.

For a taste of this year’s finalists, their work can be found on this Spotify playlist.

The Pacific Music Awards will take place Thursday 4th August.



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