Waiata Māori on display at APRA Silver Scroll awards

By Jessica Tyson

Māori artists Troy Kingi and Marlon Williams are two of five finalists who could walk away with this year’s APRA Silver Scroll award tonight, celebrating the craft of songwriting.

Kingi has been recognised for his song Aztechknowledgey and Williams is a finalist for his waiata Nobody Gets What They Want Anymore.

Marlon Williams. Source: APRA Scrolls

Meanwhile, Seth Haapu, Ria Hall and Rob Ruha are finalists for the Maioha Award, celebrating exceptional waiata featuring te reo Māori.

Haapu is a first-time finalist for his waiata Ngaru Hōu, a te reo version of his song New Wave, translated by Mataia Keepa.

The song is romantic ballad about revealing and challenging power of love, as well as being grateful for the ebbs and flows of life, says Haapu.

“It draws on the ocean as a metaphor for finding peace in the calm before a break, diving in and coming up renewed on the other side,” he told MMF.  

Seth Haapu. Source: APRA Scrolls

Hall is also a first-time finalist for Te Ahi Kai Pō, alongside co-writers Tiki Taane and Te Ori Paki.

The song is from her recent album Rules of Engagement which draws on themes of love and war, revolution and change, and is a lament and tribute to those who have been lost along the way but continue to provide inspiration.

Ria Hall. Source: APRA Scrolls

However, Ruha is no stranger to the Maioha Award after winning in 2014 and 2016.

This year he is a finalist for his gentle yet stirring song about mana written for King Tūheitia, Uia.

APRA's Anthony Healey says,  "These songs show the diversity of songwriting in New Zealand right now - from long-established luminaries to fresh faces, ballads to beats, rhymes to folk stories, and many inventive diversions in between."  

The awards kick off at 7pm at Spark Arena in Auckland.