It was a big night for 12-year-old General Fiyah who brought the house down at the Pacific Music Awards last night at Manukau’s Vodafone Events Centre.
Pacific artists from all across the different genres of hiphop, gospel, opera, soul and blues, Pacific language groups came together to celebrate all that wonderful and great about Pacific music and talent. Award winners punctured the night with Pacific humour; General and his father were no exception.
Some of the crowd reaction last night:
"I was absolutely inspired, blown away and just so happy for the people that won awards but also the people that have been, man, slogging away at this industry for years and years and years..." Josephine Bartley, Auckland Councillor.
"The highlights of tonight was definitely Punialava'a. That was just amazing, their performance tonight. So many of those songs I recognised from my childhood growing up. We were singing along but to hear them all on stage singing live was just amazing. Also, I've got a shout out to give to my people from...the Otara Music and Arts Centre. I've recorded there when I was at Tangaroa College and now I'm proud to be on the Otara Papatoetoe Local Board that fully funds OMAC so that work can continue for our communities going forward." Lotu Fuli - Otara Papatoetoe Local Board Chairperson.
"Listening to the artists when they accepted their awards and seeing what their motivations were for why they make music, how they got here, who supported them was really amazing, really inspiring to see." Christian Baledrokadroka, AUT Student
"I've attended most years over the last six years. Tonight felt very homely, real, celebrating community and a lot more grounded. So I absolutely loved it and the recognition of musicians I have grown up with like Punialava'a. That was incredible and OMAC." Tupa'imatuna Jodi Jackson, Board Trustee, National Pacific Radio Trust.
" It was okay...It felt, it was lifeless tonight, it wasn't so lively. The best time, yeah I'm pretty straight up, it was Punialava'a. Honestly I almost tagi'd (cried) cos it took me back to when I was six years old on a Saturday morning vacuuming the house while Mum's playing their record. My mum still plays their stuff. " 3D Visual Effects Artist.
People's Choice Awards - Best Pacific Song - Best Pacific Music Video
General, son of Three Houses Down Rob Pome'e, took away three awards: the Vodafone People’s Choice Awards, the Best Pacific Song Award for Here to Stay, and NZ On Air Best Pacific Music Video. Here to Stay was written by Charlie Pome’e and Nicholas Pome’e.
Video: General Fiyah's Here to Stay
In accepting the award for Best Pacific song, General said he was honoured and humbled: “The song, Here to Stay, describes me, my life, because music is my life. Tonight this is all about our Pacific music. Whether you have one of these (award trophy) or not, we’re all winners. This is our music. Pacific music is here to stay. Today and to the next generation.” Before he turned the mic over to his father, he asked his mother: "I’m not going to school tomorrow aye Mum?
In a good-natured rib to the audience, Rob Pome’e said he had something to get off his chest” “ I’m getting sick of being left out of the cold right now. I used to be in the middle but now I’m out on the wing..."
There were 16 award categories in the Pacific Music Awards including a special recognition award for outstanding achievement going to OMAC (Otara Music Awards Centre) which started more than 30 years ago. Punialava'a, from Samoa, were awarded the Manukau Institute of Technology Lifetime Achievement Award.
The other award category winners were:
Tomorrow People Wins Best Language Award for Sa'ili Le Alofa
They also won Pacific Media Network Best Pacific Group Award for Lock Me Up.
Lock It Up won the Pacific Media Network Best Pacific Group Award
Best Pacific Female Artist - Best Pacific Music Album - Best Producer Award
Ladi 6 from the South Island won Best Pacific Female Artist, Best Pacific Music Album and Best Producer Award for Royal Blue 3000 EP.
Best Pacific Male Artist - Best Urban Artist
Pacific soul singer Noah Slee, who has been based in Europe for the last four years, won the Pacific Media Network Best Urban Artist Award for Otherland. He also took away the NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male Artist Award.
Manukau Institute of Technology Lifetime Achievement Award
Samoan-based group Punialava’a was awarded the lifetime achievement award presented by Manukau Institute of Technology's Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga