3 Jun 2013

Samoan/Indian artist has record breaking sweep at music awards

7:11 pm on 3 June 2013

Samoan/Indian soul and R and B artist Aradhna has had a record-breaking sweep at this years Pacific Music Awards, winning every category she was nominated in.

With five wins and the New Zealand On Air Radio Airplay Award, Aradhna has won the most awards in a night by a single artist in the nine-year history of the event.

Leilani Momoisea reports:

"It was fitting that Aradhna dominated the Pacific Music Awards the year that its theme was acknowledging Pacific female music artists past and present. Her work on album Treble & Reverb won her Best Pacific Female Artist, Best Urban Artist, Best Pacific Artist, Best Pacific Song, Best Pacific Video and Best Pacific Album. Aradhna says the struggles she talks about in her single 'Wake Up' makes her appreciate the moment even more."

ARADHNA: I'm just heaps grateful for those times, 'cause it makes me really appreciate these things right now, the times where I was questioning my own dream. Right now it just feels like heaps epic for me. (Laughs) All those times where I'd like in bed and be depressed about everything in the world, and now heaps different.

Aradhna has just got back from New York after signing a record deal with Republic Records, and describes her experience when walking into the label building for the first time.

ARADHNA: Went up the elevators, got out and then they've got this long hallway with big pictures of, like, Amy Winehouse on the wall and all their artists. When we got out they were playing 'Wake Up'. They were welcoming us. All the way through the office they were playing 'Wake Up' and playing my whole album. It was a 'Welcome Aradhna' kind of thing. I was like, 'Wow, this is pretty awesome'. (Laughs)

The Best Pacific Language award went to Vaniah Toloa for his Tofi O Tamatane album. He says he's grateful for the award, but being in New Zealand just makes him appreciate home even more.

VANIAH TOLOA: From Samoa, there's so many things that you don't even look at when you come over here, when you move to a different country. When you're in Samoa there's so many things that you appreciate. You appreciate everybody around you - family members, neighbours. And the things that you have, the little things that you have, when I come over here I miss those things. And every time I go back it's back to paradise.

The only other artist to win multiple awards on the night was Tongan singer Swiss, who took away Best Pacific Male and the People's Choice award for his debut EP Slow Wind. He says he's happy to be able to fly the flag for Tonga.

SWISS: We've watched the Samoans do it for a long time now, and I guess I'm flying the Tongan flag. The Americans sort of set the standard for us. That's sort of what we're chasing and what we aspire to be - as big as them. So, you know, being a Pacific artist I like to keep my roots in play and represent my culture and my people, too. That's where they come together. I'm a proud Tongan boy. Our people are really proud people and just proud to be Tongan, I guess.

The awards night also took a trip down memory lane featuring a surprise performance from '90s girl group Ma-V-Elle, who performed together as a group for the first time in 14 years.