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The nominees for the Pacific Music Awards 2020

This year’s nominees list features many newcomers and past winners. Left clockwise: HP Boyz, Lou’ana, Shepherds Reign, Jordan Gavet, Olivia Foa’i and General Fiyah.

The finalists for the Pacific Music Awards were announced this evening, with many first-time nominees making the list for this year’s awards ceremony.

Continuing her family’s musical legacy, Olivia Foa’i debuted her first solo album, Candid, last year in 2019. Staying true to her Tokelauan and Tuvaluan roots, the album featured a fun mixture of signature island rhythms, pop beats and Pasifika language.

Foa’i garnered four nominations for Candid, including Best Pacific Language Song, Best Pacific Female Artist and Best Pacific Music Album. Her brother Matatia Foa’i has also been nominated for Best Producer for his work on the album.

While the singer/songwriter has been nominated in the past for her work with Te Vaka, this is the first time Foa’i has been nominated for her solo work.

Polynesian metal band Shepherds Reign have earned three nominations for Best Pacific Group, Best Pacific Language and Best Pacific song.

Newcomers to the Pacific Music Awards, the group has climbed from strength to strength, building an impressive online following for their unique musicality of Poly drum beats, Samoan lyrics and hard rock sound. Perhaps the first Pacific metal song to be nominated for Best Pacific Language, their track Le Manu was inspired by the legend of a Samoan warrior.

Another surprising yet inevitable first-time nomination are Melbourne-based rap group HP Boyz, who were nominated for Best International Pacific Artist. While they only released their first single in May last year, the group have managed to build an international fan base within a short space of time.

One of the most requested artists on NZ urban radio, their track Engineers has gathered over 14 million streams on Spotify and over 8 million views on YouTube. HP Boyz travelled to Kiwi shores late last year where they performed in three sold-out concerts around the country.

Returning to the nominees list are former PMA winners Punialava’a (with 2 nominations) rap artist Poetik (nominated for 3), Church & AP (3 nominations) and General Fiyah (with 2 Nominations).

All the finalists are up for the Sunpix People’s Choice Award, which will be announced on the evening of the awards.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the nominees were broadcast via Facebook livestream. The date for the award ceremony has yet to be announced.

For the full list of nominees, see the list below:

Pacific Music Award nominees 2020

NZ On Air Best Pacific Music Video

  • Disciple Pati, The Boy who Cried Woman / dir. Shae Sterling and Disciple Pati
  • Lou’ana, Eye to Eye / dir. Annie Duckworth
  • SWIDT, Bunga / dir. Anahera Parata

Best Producer

  • Dera Meelan, Teeth / Church & AP
  • Kings, Hit That / Kings
  • Tia Drumma and EDY, Wild People / Mikey Mayz
  • Matatia Foa’i, Candid / Olivia Foa’i

PMN Best International Pacific Artist

  • HP Boyz / Engineers
  • Josh Tatofi / Ua Kui a Lawa
  • Kaiit / Miss Shiney

Sunpix Best Pacific Language

  • Lani Alo / Alo I Ou Faiva
  • Olivia Foa’i / Candid
  • Punialava’a / Sili’aga Fa’atufugaga, Beyond our Stories
  • Shepherd’s Reign / Le Manu

PMN Best Pacific Gospel Artist

  • JXN / Talako Dragon
  • Lani Alo / Alo I Ou Faiva
  • Punialava’a / Sili’aga Fa’atufugaga, Beyond our Stories

Base FM NZ & Island Base Samoa Best Pacific Hip Hop Artist

  • Church & AP / Teeth
  • Melodownz / No Mercy ft. Denzel Curry
  • Poetik / Hamofied EP 2

Best Pacific Soul/R&B Artist

  • Jordan Gavet / Hesitation
  • Lepani / Pocket Full of Love
  • Lou’ana / Move Along
  • Noah Slee / Twice

Pato Ent. Best Pacific Roots/Reggae Artist

  • General Fiyah / It’s You ft. Three Houses Down
  • Lomez Brown / Tell Me
  • Raggadat Cris / I Swear
  • Tomorrow People / Fever ft. Fiji

APRA Best Pacific Song

  • General Fiyah / It’s You ft. Three Houses Down
  • Lani Alo / Alo I Ou Faiva
  • Shepherds Reign / Le Manu

NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male Artist

  • Lepani / Pocket Full of Love
  • Poetik / Hamofied EP 2
  • Noah Slee / Twice

Auckland Council Best Pacific Female Artist

  • Bella Kalolo / Ends of the Earth
  • Lou’ana / Move Along
  • Olivia Foa’i / Candid

Flava Best Pacific Group

  • Church & AP / Teeth
  • Shepherd’s Reign / Le Manu
  • Tomorrow People / Fever ft. Fiji

Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album

  • Church & AP / Teeth
  • Olivia Foa’i / Candid
  • Poetik / Hamofied EP 2

by Alice Lolohea

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