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Finalists announced for 2017 Waiata Māori Music Awards

 By Online News - Rereātea
Māori Thrash Metal band Alien Weaponry is up for Best Video by a Māori artist award.

In celebration of Māori Music Month this August, The Waiata Māori Music Awards has announced the finalists for this year's event. 

Now in its 10th year, the Waiata Māori Music Awards celebrate excellence in Māori music and also aim to acknowledge and honour the keepers, teachers, promoters, creators and performers of this cultural taonga.  

The awards event was established by the late composer and teacher Tama Huata ONZM (Ngāti Kahungungu), a renowned leader in and champion of the performing arts. Tama’s daughter Ellison now helms the awards.

She says, “The calibre of the finalists in our 10th anniversary year is a great testament to the quality and diversity of Māori composers, musicians and performers that we have in Aotearoa. The Waiata Māori Music Awards provide a unique opportunity to celebrate both our traditional and contemporary Māori musical artists.”

Acclaimed singer/songwriters Rob Ruha, Maisey Rika, Tama Waipara and Taisha Tari are the official ambassadors of the Waiata Māori Music Awards and they will be joining the finalists as the winners are revealed at this year’s ceremony in Hastings on the evening of Friday September 15th.

The 2017 Waiata Māori Music Awards finalists are:

Best Māori Traditional Album:

Hikoikoi, Grove Roots
Auaha, Auaha
Tira, Maisey Rika
Best Māori Urban Rap/Hip Hop/RnB Album:

Me, My Selfie & Ice Pro, Taipari Waaka
A Place to Stand, Rei
4108sis, Rugged and Wylde
AvonTales, Melodownz
Best Māori Urban Roots/Reggae Album:

Hikoikoi, Grove Roots
Dance Hall Vol 1, Israel Starr
Love not War, NLC
Best Māori Pop Album:

Guitar Party at Uncle’s Bach, Troy Kingi
Written in the Stars, Maaka Fiso
Tira, Maisey Rika
Best Māori Male Solo Artist:

Troy Kingi
Maaka Fiso
Seth Haapu
Best Māori Female Solo Artist:
Toni Huata
Pianika Duncan
Maisey Rika
Best Song by a Māori Artist:
Written in the Stars, Maaka Fiso
Never Be Apart, Teeks
Te Kura, Grove Roots
Mohaka, Toni Huata
Taku Mana, Maisey Rika
Best Māori Songwriter:

Maaka Fiso
Grove Roots
Toni Huata
Maisey Rika
Best Video by a Māori Artist:

Lost Soul, Valkyrie
Ru ana te Whenua, Alien Weaponry
New Take Over, Stan Walker
If Only, Teeks
Wairua, Maimoa