Troy Kingi wins Best Māori Artist award second year in row

By Jessica Tyson

Troy Kingi & The Upperclass have done it again, winning Te Kaipuoro Māori Toa, Best Māori Artist at the New Zealand Music Awards tonight.

During his speech at Spark Arena, Kingi said he dedicated the award to indigenous people around the world.

“Our indigenous people are going through a lot of s**t at the moment. I’m just really happy that this generation, they’re conscious thinkers seeking the truth looking for the histories.”

Kingi then told people in the audience, to “find out your history, find out about our history and you’ll find out our country will change a lot for the better.”

Kingi’s award tonight comes after his mission to release 10 albums in 10 years.

He recently released his third album Holy Colony Burning Acres, a deeply personal and spiritual examination of the plight of First Nations peoples around the world.

The album delves into the dark corners of worldly indigenous politics, namely colonisation and its crippling effects on today’s social climate.

He says he's happy artists are feeling more comfortable to write music that highlight issues facing indigenous communities.

"There was a bit of a tapu thing where you couldn't write a certain way but it feels like the walls have broken down and you can write about anything now," he says. 

"When it feels like there's no hope music is just uplifting, whether its the answer I don't know."

Last year he won the Best Soul/RnB and Best Māori Artist Tui in 2018 for Shake That Skinny Ass All The Way To Zygertron, his epic funk-infused sophmore album taking inspiration from sci-fi soul, interstellar love and 70s cosmic funk.