Finalists revealed for the 2019 Pacific Music Awards

Publish Date
Saturday, 6 April 2019, 12:56PM
Photo / Supplied

Photo / Supplied

The finalists have been announced for the 2019 Pacific Music Awards! 

It’s been a strong year for Pasifika hip hop, with the genre experiencing a whirlwind of activity in recent times. Heavyweights Kings and SWIDT lead the finalists this year with five nods apiece.

Kings is no stranger to the Pacific Music Awards, winning 5 awards including the NZ On Air Streaming Award in 2018.

This year, Kings is nominated for NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male Artist, Base FM NZ & Island Base FM Samoa Best Pacific Hip Hop Artist, SIT/MAINZ Best Producer (with Tenei Kesha) and Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album for his third album Lov3 and 3go as well as APRA Best Pacific Song for ‘6 Figures’.

Onehunga’s very own SWIDT are back at the Pacific Music Awards off the back of their successful EP The Most Electrifying.

They’re nominated for PMN Best Pacific Group, Base FM NZ & Island Base FM Samoa Best Pacific Hip Hop Artist, RecordedMusic NZ Best Pacific Music Album and NZ On Air Best Pacific Music Video for ‘Who Run It’, directed by 10Daniel16. Producer SmokeyGotBeatz is also nominated for SIT/MAINZ Best Producer for his work on the EP.

Samoan born and bred rap artist Poetik won Most Promising Pacific Artist in 2018 and released HAMOFIED EP. This year, he’s a finalist for NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male Artist and Base FM NZ & Island Base FM Samoa Best Pacific Hip Hop Artist.

Both Melodownz (NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male Artist) and Church & AP (APRA Best Pacific Song) are also recognised for their contributions to hip hop in 2019.

New Zealand R&B & soul duo Adeaze took a hiatus from music after the release of their second album and have been working in South Auckland performing arts programme for kids, Saintz Up.

The brothers Nainz and Viiz Tupa’i are back with their new album A Mother’s Love, dedicated to their late mother Selepa – their greatest supporter and fan. The brothers are nominated for PMN Best Pacific Group, PMN Best Pacific Gospel Artist, and Sunpix Best Pacific Language.

After being recognised for their widespread influence and significant contribution to Samoan music and culture as last year’s Manukau Institute of Technology Lifetime Achievement Award recipients, Punialava’a are back for this year’s awards.

They’re nominated for three awards including PMN Best Pacific Gospel Artist, Sunpix Best Pacific Language and APRA Best Pacific Song for 'Ana le Seanoa'oe' by Rev iosefa Lale Peteru.

Seven piece ‘sunshine reggae’ collective Tomorrow People won two awards at last year's Pacific Music Awards (PMN Best Pacific Group, Sunpix Best Pacific Language). This year, they’re finalists for three awards - PMN Best Pacific Group, Pato Entertainment Best Pacific Roots/Reggae Artist and Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album.

Mangere youth worker and singer extraordinaire Latoia Sasa-Tepania aka La CoCo is nominated for Auckland Council Best Pacific Female Artist and Best Pacific Soul/R&B Artist for song ‘Waiting’, the lead single off her upcoming EP Out Of Time.

The big change this year is the splitting of Best Pacific Urban Artist into three separate categories – Best Pacific Soul/R&B Artist, Best Pacific Hip Hop Artist, and Best Pacific Roots/Reggae Artist.

This aims to highlight the ever-changing Pacific music landscape and acknowledge all the artists who are creating and composing music across a wide range of genres.

Pacific Music Awards Trust spokesperson Rev. Mua Strickson-Pua said the sheer range of different talents on display across the finalists was something to be proud of.

“First Solomon Islands and PNG artists join 12 first time finalist and seasoned veterans of our music scene and industry at the 15th anniversary for the Pacific Music Awards in 2019.

“The diverse range of talents across the finalist reminds us of the richness of the star systems for our musical navigations of referencing the stars to bring us home like our Pacific mariner ancestors.  Our first-time finalists remind us of growth, richness and transition with our musical malaga ola music journey of life.”

The awards event will also reveal the recipients of the four additional awards; the Manukau Institute of Technology Lifetime Achievement Award, NZ On Air Radio Airplay Award, Phillip Fuemana Award for Most Promising Pacific Artist, and the SunPix People’s Choice Award – Best Pacific Artist.   

The winner of the Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album category is presented with an official Tui and recognised at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards later this year.

Tickets to the 15th Pacific Music Awards ceremony will be available through

Pacific Music Awards finalists:

Auckland Council Best Pacific Female Artist:

  • La Coco - ‘Waiting’
  • Razé - ‘Not About You’
  • Tree - ‘Can We’
  • Villette - ‘Money’


NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male Artist:

  • Kings - Lov3 & 3go
  • Melodownz - Melo & Blues
  • Sonatane Kaufusi - ‘Birdie’


PMN Best Pacific Group:

  • Adeaze - A Mother's Love
  • SWIDT - The Most Electrifying
  • Tomorrow People - BBQ Reggae


NZ On Air Best Pacific Music Video:

  • Razé X Edy - ‘Not About You’
    • Directed by Kiel Tutin & Edward Liu
  • Sonatane Kaufusi - ‘Birdie’
    • Directed by Dave Thomson, Imaginary Friends
  • SWIDT - ‘Who Run It’ 
    • Directed by 10Daniel16
  • Villette - ‘Not In Love’
    • Directed by Parker Howell, Baron VR


APRA Best Pacific Song:

  • Church & AP - ‘Ready or Not’
    • Written by Elijah Manu, Albert Purcell
  • Kings - ‘6 Figures’
    • Written by Kingdon Chapple-Wilson
  • Punialava’a - ‘Ana le Seanoa’oe’
    • Written by Rev. Iosefa Lale Peteru


SunPix Best Pacific Language:

  • Adeaze - A Mother's Love
  • Punialava’a - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow, O ananafi, O nei ma Taeao
  • Sammy Atoa - 'Samoa Finau’


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

  • Kings - Lov3 & 3go
  • SWIDT - The Most Electrifying


Best Pacific Soul/R&B Artist:

  • La Coco - ‘Waiting’
  • Razé - ‘Not About You’
  • Villette - ‘Not In Love’


Pato Entertainment Best Pacific Roots/Reggae Artist:

  • Lapi Mariner - ‘Go Back’
  • Runtingz Family - ‘Runtingz Anthem’
  • Tomorrow People - BBQ Reggae


PMN Best Pacific Gospel Artist:

  • Adeaze - A Mother's Love
  • Punialava’a - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow, O ananafi, O nei ma Taeao
  • Revere - Revere


FLAVA Best International Pacific Artist:

  • Bobby Alu - ‘Move’
  • Jaro Local - Dakini Tangarareh
  • Kaiit - Live From Her Room EP


Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album:

  • Kings - Lov3 & 3go
  • SWIDT - The Most Electrifying
  • Tomorrow People - BBQ Reggae


SIT/MAINZ Best Producer:

  • Kings & 10A (Tenei Kesha) - Lov3 & 3go (Kings)
  • SmokeyGotBeatz - The Most Electrifying (SWIDT)
  • Baccyard (Clinton Bently) - Melo & Blues (Melodownz)


All the artist finalists:

  1. Adeaze - A Mother's Love
  2. Bobby Alu - ‘Move’
  3. Church & AP - ‘Ready or Not’
  4. Jaro Local - Dakini Tangarareh
  5. Kaiit - Live From Her Room EP
  6. Kings - Lov3 & 3go
  7. La Coco - ‘Waiting’
  8. Lapi Mariner - ‘Go Back’
  9. Melodownz - Melo & Blues
  11. Punialava’a - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow, O ananafi, O nei ma Taeao
  12. Razé - ‘Not About You’
  13. Revere - Revere
  14. Runtingz Family - ‘Runtingz Anthem’
  15. Sammy Atoa - ‘Samoa Finau’
  16. Sonatane Kaufusi - ‘Birdie’
  17. SWIDT - The Most Electrifying
  18. Tomorrow People - BBQ Reggae
  19. Tree - ‘Can We’
  20. Villette – ‘Money’/‘Not In Love’