Alien Weaponry wins Te Whetū Maiangi Award for Young Achievers

Hailing from Northland, Kiwi metal band Alien Weaponry have won Te Whetū Maiangi Award for Young Achievers at the Matariki Awards tonight, for their musical success over the last year.

The trio, consisting of Henry De Jong, Lewis De Jong and Ethan Trembath, released their debut album and have toured their te reo Māori music internationally.

Within only the first two weeks of the release the album had been streamed more than one million times on Spotify.

The group’s lead singer Henry de Jong, of Ngāti Pikiao and Ngāti Raukawa, recently told Te Kāea, "To have te reo Māori at the top of the charts and to have metal at the top of the charts, both, it's just like absolutely awesome."

He said by aligning their music with the authenticity of the Māori culture, the band has experienced a powerful shift.

The band sought creative direction from numerous performers from the nationally acclaimed kapa haka, Te Mātārae i Ōrehu who starred in the video for their latest single Kai Tangata.

"They were like our number one pick for who are we going to get in the video to have a mean tauā!"

Alien Weaponry is also set to feature in a new documentary in the United States.

The 18-minute film Māori Metal focuses on their journey to producing their album, while juggling other life commitments.

The documentary is directed by US director David Freid whose work has recently featured in National Geographic, VICE and the Washington Post.

Social entrepreneur Shay Wright and activist Pania Newton were also the finalists for the young achievers award.