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Maori Music Month

Maori artists particularly “have been doing it tough” this year but two music events this month are an opportunity to celebrate Maori singers, songwriters and performers, says awards executive director Ellison Huata.

Te Marama Puoro Waiata — Maori Music Month, began on August 1 and nominations are now open for the National Waiata Maori Music Awards.

Maori Music Month’s focus is on the celebration of emerging and established performers, says Ms Huata.

“One of the events we have planned is a singing competition where people can create their own compositions, which they can submit to us and the work can be judged by a panel of artists.

“We will bring the top 10 finalists to the Waiata Maori Music Awards to meet those working in the industry, at the Waiata Maori Music Conference on the 1st of October.”

At the conference, established artists and music producers will be able to give the competition finalists some advice and guidance. The two categories will be open for the singing competition, rangatahi, for those under 25 years old, and pakeke, for those over 25, while Maori Music Month includes a Whanau TikTok Challenge.

“The challenge is for whanau to perform or dance to a waiata recorded by one of our many Maori artists,” says Ms Huata.

TikTok’s popularity among young people around the world meant it would be a good avenue to promote Maori music to an international audience, she said.

“The Whanau TikTok Challenge winners get to come along and celebrate with the Maori music industry at the 13th National Waiata Maori Music Awards too.”

Award nominations open for 2020

The National Waiata Maori Music Awards celebrate music released in the 12 months to June 2020 and nominations are now open. Artists can submit their work via the Waiata Maori Music website and nominations will close on Monday, August 24, at 5pm.

A panel of independent judges will review the nominations and the finalists will be announced on September 17.

The winners will be announced at a gala event at the Toitoi, Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre, in Hastings, formerly the Hawke’s Bay Opera House, on Friday, October 2.

The 2020 categories include:

Best te reo Maori album; best hip-hop album by a Maori artist; best RnB Album by a Maori artist; best roots reggae album by a Maori Artist; best pop album by a Maori artist; best Maori male solo artist; best Maori female solo artist; best Maori group; best single by a Maori artist; best music video by a Maori artist and best Maori songwriter.

The new categories:

Best hip-hop album by a Maori artist and best RnB album by a Maori Artist (which replaces the best Maori urban rap/hip-hop/RnB album category), as well as best Maori group.

For more information, visit https:\\www.waiatamaoriawards.co.nz

THE KING AND THE CHIEF: Zach Stark and Ratima Hauraki, famous as Wairoa-based duo Rugged and Wylde, were among finalists in the best Maori urban album in last year’s Waiata Maori Music Awards with their recording, The King and the Chief, and let slip only a mild cussword at not winning.Picture supplied