Williams wins APRA Silver Scroll Award

By Jessica Tyson

Ngai Tahu’s Marlon Williams has won the supreme 2018 APRA Silver Scroll Award, which acknowledges excellence in songwriting, for his waiata Nobody Gets What They Want Anymore.

During his winning speech at the awards in Auckland last night he said he made a personal breakthrough when writing the song.

"I'm proud of this song because it taught me something. I've never had a song that I've written do that for me," he said.

"It's always been lesson's in other people's songs but this time, and for the first time, I learned to cope with love and with grief through my own writing process."

Williams, from Lyttelton, has been on the rise for many years locally and internationally for his hauntingly beautiful folk, country and alternative ballads.

He first garnered attention in Christchurch alternative-folk band The Unfaithful Ways, before partnering with first Delaney Davidson and then Tami Neilson on two collaborative records.

He released his first solo album in 2016 before cementing his name as one of New Zealand's most charismatic singers and songwriters with his second solo album Make Way For Love released earlier this year.

Williams was up against four other Kiwi artists last night for the award including Troy Kingi for his song Aztechknowledgey.

Ria Hall wins APRA Maioha Award. Source: APRA Silver Scroll Awards

The APRA Maioha Award, recognising exceptional waiata featuring te reo Māori, was awarded to Ria Hall, along with co-writers Tiki Taane and Te Ori Paki for their rich and heartfelt ballad Te Ahi Kai Pō.

The song is about finding resolution in tragic circumstances, and healing after the tragedy of war, while raising awareness of inter-generational cultural disenfranchisement and draws on Ria’s own family history.

Tribute was paid to Hall, Taane, and Paki with a moving performance of Te Ahi Kai Pō by Teeks, Te Karehana Gardiner Toi, supported by Nick Dow and Ngā Tumanako kapa haka group. 

This is the 16th year in which the APRA Maioha Award has been presented, with artists such as Ruia Aperahama, Ngahiwi Apanui, Whirimako Black, Robert Ruha, Maisey Rika, Stan Walker, Troy Kingi, and Alien Weaponry all having received the Te Ngore - the Maioha award sculpture carved by Brian Flintoff. 

Other finalists for the Maioha Award were Seth Haapu and Rob Ruha.

The winner of all awards were:

APRA Silver Scroll: Marlon Williams - Nobody Gets What They Want Anymore

APRA Maioha Award: Ria Hall, Tiki Taane, Te Ori Paki - Te Ahi Kai Pō

SOUNZ Contemporary Award: Michael Norris – Sygyt

APRA Best Original Music in a Series: Conrad Wedde, Lukasz Buda, Samuel Scott – Cleverman

APRA Best Original Music in a Feature Film: David Long – McLaren

Hall of Fame: Jenny Morris