VNZMA: Maori and Pacific artists win big

Sol3 Mio - winners of Highest selling album. Image / Supplied
Sol3 Mio - winners of Highest selling album. Image / Supplied

It’s New Zealand’s biggest night for music, and Lorde swept the boards, but it was a trio of Opera singers Sol3 Mio who stole the show.

Fresh from their shows in the US and UK, Samoan family opera trio Sol3 Mio had the crowd on their feet with their rendition of O Sole Mio, and added to their repertoire of awards by winning the Highest Selling Album and Best Pacific Album awards.

Hosted by TV personality Shannon Ryan and comedian Dai Henwood, it truly was a night to celebrate Kiwi artists. It was also an impressive line-up of Maori and Pacific artists who are making a mark in an ever-changing music industry.

Held at Auckland’s Vector Arena, the night opened with South Auckland rapper David Dallas who later went on to win Best Male Solo artist and Best Urban/Hip Hop for the album Falling into place.

X Factor judge Stan Walker also walked away with the NZ On Air Radio Airplay award for Bulletproof and Vodafone’s People Choice award. Coming home, I feel like I have a purpose and responsibility for our Pacific and Maori artists. I’m all about supporting our people, the more of us that get out there, the better it is,” he said. “I come as a fan more so than another nominee, but am thankful for this award.”

Winner of 'People's Choice' Award - Stan Walker
Winner of ‘People’s Choice’ Award – Stan Walker


The night saw performances from Benny Tipene, breakthrough artists Broods and Blacklistt, leading up to the presentation of the NZ Herald Legacy winners, Supergroove. Their Sitting inside my Head song saw them rise to fame locally and internationally.

Included in the group was Niuean rapper/singer Che Fu who was fired from the group in 1995 and went on to forge a solo career with number one single Chains.

The evening ended on one of the biggest crowd pleasers of the night – a tribute performance in honour of Supergroove performed by seasoned female powerhouses Ria Hall, Iva Lankum, Hollie Smith and Tali, accompanied by the Levites Band.

Chief Executive Damian Vaughan said: There’s no denying it’s been an amazing year for Lorde, but it has also been a diverse year for quality releases across the board and it’s great to see we have so many different genres represented among the winners.”

Latest posts by Agnes Tupou (see all)