Gallery - Aotearoa Music Awards

By Jessica Tyson

The Aotearoa Music Awards were held last night in Auckland. The decision to rebrand the awards from the former name of the Vodafone NZ Music Awards was to recognise tangata whenua and honour te reo Māori as the first language of New Zealand. 

Maimoa Music won Te Māngai Pāho Te Kaipuoro Māori Toa Best Māori Artist at the Aotearoa Music Awards, Maimoa member Pere Wihongi dedicated the award to the Kohanga Reo movement and Kura Kaupapa Māori movement. He says the group is elated and surprised to receive the award, going up against the likes of Stan Walker and Ria Hall.  

Mōhau won two awards last night including Te Kaipuoro Kairangi Toa Best Worship Artist and Te Mana Reo Award recognising albums or singles with at least 50 percent te reo Māori. 

Mōhau is a supergroup collective let by Te Tai Tairāwhiti musical legend Rob Ruha. Their self-titled album made up of eight waiata whakamoemiti (gospel songs) were composed entirely in te reo Māori and were recorded in a single take as a live visual album a month before the audio release.

L.A.B won Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa, Best Roots Artist and the People’s Choice award. The supergroup, including the Kora brothers Stu and Brad, former Katchafire member Ara Adams-Tamatea, vocalist Joel Shadbolt and keyboardist Miharo Gregory were finalists for four awards tonight including Album of the Year, Single of the Year, Best Group and Best Roots Artist.

For the second year running, Kiwi pop juggernaut BENEE took home four Tui at the awards.

After making a huge splash last year, the singer songwriter has been recognised as one of New Zealand’s fastest rising stars, taking out Te Waiata Tōtahi o te Tau, Single of the Year for her smash hit Superlonely.

She also won Te Kaipuoro Takitahi Toa, Best Solo Artist and Te Kaipuoro Arotini Toa, Best Pop Artist and was recognised with the International Achievement award for her global accomplishments over the last year.

Viral sensation and international acclaimed artist Jawsh 685 has had an incredible year, with his track Laxed – Siren Beat topping charts globally. He is the first Pasifika person and the third New Zealand person ever to top the UK Singles Chart.

Jawsh 685 won Spotify Te Kaituhura Puoro Toa o te Tau, Breakthrough Artist of the Year and was the second recipient of an International Achievement award.

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Images Copyright Stijl Ltd, Aotearoa Music Awards