28 Oct 2020

Silver Scrolls 2020: winners announced

From RNZ Music, 12:00 am on 28 October 2020

Benee's 'Glitter' has won the Silver Scroll, Rob Ruha's song ‘Ka Mānu’ has won the Maioha award, and artists including Alien Weaponry and Delaney Davidson have delivered electrifying performances at the 2020 Silver Scroll songwriting awards.

Benee (aka Stella Bennett) and co-writers Joshua Fountain and Djeisan Suskov have taken home the 2020 Silver Scroll with with their global smash ‘Glitter’. Benee was stoked with the win, which is the songwriting trio’s second nomination after ‘Soaked’ made the top five in 2019: “This is nuts. Thank you very much. This is crazy. I just want to say to all the other finalists, you guys are insane.”

Skip to full list of winners.

Benee has been working with Josh Fountain since her 2017 debut single ‘Lonely Guy’, teaming up with Djeisan on double platinum hit ‘Soaked’, ‘Glitter’ and a number of other Benee hits. Djeisan and Josh have also found success with their laid-back pop group Leisure.

Distinguished East Coast musician Rob Ruha was presented with the APRA Maioha Award, which recognises exceptional waiata featuring te reo Māori. He was celebrated for his song ‘Ka Mānu’, a song he wrote in support of those protecting Ihumātao, and to highlight the oppression of indigenous people around the world.

He congratulated his fellow nominees, saying the Māori language, culture and ethos were the ultimate winners: “I look forward to the day when we don’t have to write songs to lift our people out of oppression, systemic racism, and all the things that keep us below where we deserve to be, which is on equal par with everyone in the world.”

Rob (Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Rongowhakaata, Tainui, Te Arawa, Ngā Ariki-kaipūtahi, Ngā Puhi) has been a finalist multiple times, winning the Maioha Award first in 2014 for ‘Tiki Tapu’, and again in 2016 for ‘Kariri’.

‘Ka Mānu’ speaks of unity and peaceful resistance and in that spirit, brings together musicians from across Aotearoa for a stirring performance full of aroha and hope.

Fur Patrol pop punk star turned folk songstress Julia Deans was the music director of tonight’s 55th APRA Silver Scroll ceremony, which saw a host of other Aotearoa songwriters collect awards.

Wellington composer Michael Norris won the SOUNZ Contemporary Award – Te Tohu Auaha for the fourth time for his latest composition, 'Mātauranga (Rerenga)'. He previously won in 2014 for 'Inner Phases', 2018 for 'Sygyt', and 2019 for 'Sama Violin Concerto'.

Karl Steven won Best Original Music in a Feature Film for his score on the cult-horror film Come To Daddy. This was his third Screen Award win at the Silver Scrolls and seventh nomination. His work on Come To Daddy has been applauded for its characterful chamber orchestra score which balances intrigue, knife-edge tension, and mayhem, enhancing the unpredictable storyline that unfolds as a son reunites with his estranged father in a remote location.

And David Long (also a former finalist and winner), took home Best Original Music in a Series for his work on the sumptuous international co-production The Luminaries. Based on Eleanor Catton’s acclaimed historical novel, the series unravels an incredible tale of star-crossed love bound up in a gold-rush mystery, and Long’s score carefully intertwines the spiritual with the gritty, building drama while also delineating the many characters who cross paths.

This year amidst the uncertainties of COVID-19, APRA made the decision to move the awards ceremony to an online streaming platform for the first time in what was an incredible opportunity to capture the much-treasured performances of each Scroll nominee in a studio environment.

This year’s cover performances included:

  • Benee, 'Glitter' – performed by Delaney Davidson and The All Girl Big Band
  • Troy Kingi, 'Mighty Invader' – performed by Alien Weaponry
  • Nadia Reid, 'Get The Devil Out' – performed by Neil MacLeod
  • Reb Fountain, 'Don’t You Know Who I Am' – performed by Disciple Pati
  • L.A.B., 'In The Air' – performed by Mousey

Michael Norris, Mātauranga (Rerenga) – performed by Sam Trevethick, Darren Matthiassen, and Nick Robinson (members of Shapeshifter) with Tiki Taane

Rob Ruha, Ka Mānu – performed by Tomorrow People

The ceremony also included a very special performance of the Weta song Calling On performed by Julia Deans, Anika Moa, Anna Coddington, Hollie Smith, Lauren Barus and Natalia Sheppard in tribute to Aaron Tokona and in memoriam to members of the music community who were lost this year.

The night was rounded off with a tribute to Max Merritt, with an ensemble performance of his soulful classic ‘Slipping Away’, by all 2020 Silver Scroll performers around Aotearoa, and led by Marlon Williams.

The winners of all awards are:

  • APRA Silver Scroll Award: BENEE - ‘Glitter’, written by Stella Bennett, Joshua Fountain and Djesian Suskov
  • APRA Maioha Award: Rob Ruha – ‘Ka Mānu’
  • SOUNZ Contemporary Award / Te Tohu Auaha: Michael Norris – ‘Mātauranga (Rerenga) ‘
  • APRA Best Original Music in a Feature Film Award: Karl Steven – Come To Daddy
  • APRA Best Original Music in a Series Award: David Long – The Luminaries