Maisey Rika, Troy Kingi and Tipene top finalists for Silver Scrolls

By Jessica Tyson

Three songs written by Māori artists including Maisey Rika, Troy Kingi and Tipene have been named in the top five finalists of the 2021 APRA Silver Scrolls.

The award recognises excellence in songwriting and has been presented for 56 years.

The waiata All Your Ships Have Sailed written and performed by Troy Kingi comes from Kingi's fourth album, The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, from his 10 10 10 series; 10 albums in 10 years in 10 genres. In the album, Kingi brings to life a character inspired by his missing father and a mysterious cassette tape.

Kingi is also a co-writer and vocalist on a second finalist song in te reo Māori and English, Turangawaewae, co-written with Rika and Tenei Kesha. Rika and Kingi sing the waiata, which is deeply connected to identity, along with Flaxmere-born rapper Tipene Harmer. Harmercelebrates his culture and tipuna, welcoming listeners to celebrate te ao Māori. Turangawaewae shows off bilingual excellence with the message of staying true to yourself.

Rika has three finalist nominations, co-writing both Hiwa-i-te-rangi and Turangawaewae for the Silver Scroll Award, and Waitī Waitā for the Maioha Award.

Hiwa-i-te-rangi was co-written with Chris Chetland and hip-hop artist Rei, celebrating the youngest star in the cluster of Matariki.

With the guidance of a Māori astronomer, Rika, created the album Ngā Mata o te Ariki Tāwhirimātea turning ancient stories of Matariki into waiata.

Tāmaki Makaurau indie-rockers, The Beths return to the Top 5 this year with a love song that lays it all on the line, Jump Rope Gazers – the title track from their second LP of the same name.    

Co-written with Jonathan Pearce of The Beths, Leave Love Out Of This is also a finalist. The song is an expansive piano-driven political ballad, which brings Anthonie Tonnon back to the Top 5 this year.  

The APRA Silver Scrolls will be presented on October 14 at Spark Arena in Tāmaki Makaurau.

List of top five 2021 APRA Silver Scrolls finalists:

  • All Your Ships Have Sailed, written and performed by Troy Kingi (Published by Loop Publishing | Kobalt Music Publishing Australia) 
  • Hiwa-i-te-rangi, written by Maisey Rika*, Callum Rei McDougall, Chris Chetland, performed by Maisey Rika (*Published by First Nation Music - Aotearoa)
  • Jump Rope Gazers, written by Elizabeth Stokes*, Jonathan Pearce, Benjamin Sinclair, Tristan Deck, performed by The Beths (*Published by Gaga Music obo Carpark Publishing)
  • Leave Love Out Of This, written by Anthonie Tonnon and Jonathan Pearce, performed by Anthonie Tonnon
  • Turangawaewae, written by Stephen Harmer, Maisey Rika*, Troy Kingi**, Tenei Kesha (10A), performed by Tipene, Troy Kingi, and Maisey Rika (*Published by First Nation Music – Aotearoa, **Published by Loop Publishing | Kobalt Music Publishing Australia)