10 Sep 2012

NZ song Quest winner proud of Samoan heritage

3:57 am on 10 September 2012

The winner of New Zealand's Lexus Song Quest, Amitai Pati, says he's very proud of his Samoan heritage and loves singing for family there.

The world-renowned opera singers Dames Kiri Te Kanawa and Malvina Major are among previous winners of the prestigious competition, which used to be called the Mobil Song Quest.

Mr Pati's mother comes from Tanugamanono on the island of Upolu and his father from Satupaitea on Savaii.

He says his Samoan relatives are very proud of him.

"They're always huge fans of classical music and so it's a huge deal when I get to go back with my brother and sing for them, it's a huge honour, really. It's a great privilege."

Amitai Pati says the 12-thousand-dollar Lexus prize will cover his masters tuition fees at the International Academy of Voice in Wales, where he'll join his brother Pene next month.