L.A.B., Theia and PERE are among the finalists for 2019 Waiata Māori Music, which celebrate excellence in Māori music. Past winners include Six60, Troy Kingi, Maisey Rika and Rob Ruha.
Best Female Solo Artist and Best Songwriter finalist Amba Holly performs her song 'Tōku Reo' live at RNZ
Supergroup L.A.B., which includes members of Kora and Katchafire, is nominated for four awards: Best Pop Album, Best Song, Best Songwriter, and Best Music Video.
Longtime favourites Katchafire are nominated for Best Song and Best Songwriter.
Theia is up for Best Music Video, and Best Female Artist, where she's up against Amba Holly, who won in that category in 2016 and ’17.
Maimoa Music member PERE is nominated for Best Male Artist.
Wellington band Grove Roots, which features vocals from Amba Holly and fellow singers Sianne Dougherty and Amokura Tahi, has been nominated in four categories: Best Traditional Album, Best Roots Album, Best Māori Roots Album, and Best Music Video.
The Awards were established by composer, musician and teacher Tama Huata ONZM (Ngati Kahungunu), a renowned leader and champion of Māori music and performing arts.
Tama’s daughter Ellison Huata now serves as executive director of the awards.
“The Waiata Māori Music Awards encourage, honour and celebrate the achievements of outstanding traditional and contemporary musical composition by Māori artists,” Elison says.
The awards will be presented at a ceremony at Club Hastings on Friday, September 13, which will be livestreamed on the Waiata Māori Music Awards Facebook page.
Best Māori Female Solo Artist
1. Amba Holly
3. La Coco
Best Māori Male Solo Artist
2. Israel Starr
Best Traditional Album Te Reo Māori
1. Te Kākano - Te Kākano
2. Grove Roots - Waka
3. Maaka Fiso - Ngaro
Best Māori Pop Album
1. L.A.B. - L.A.B. II
2. Te Kākano - Te Kākano
3. Tipene - Tautoko
Urban Roots Album
1. Tipene - Tautoko
2. Grove Roots - Waka
3. Rugged and Wylde - The King and the Chief
Best Māori Urban Roots Album
1. Grove Roots - Waka
2. NLC - Know Your Roots
Best Song by a Māori Artist
1. Katchafire - Fyah In The Trenches
2. Te Kākano - Tōrea
3. L.A.B. - L.A.B. II
4. RunTingz Family - Runtingz Anthem
Best Māori songwriter
3. Te Kākano
4. Amba Holly
Best Music Video by a Māori Artist
1. Grove Roots - Aotearoa
2. L.A.B. - Baby Will You Let Me
3. Tipene - Nanny's House
4. La Coco - Back When
5. Theia - Candy