Maisey Rika and Troy Kingi could certainly be held as front runners, each with writing and performance credits on two of the five songs, alongside The Beths‘ Jonathan Pearce who also shares writing credits for two potential winners. The Silver Scroll Award recognises excellence in songwriting and has been presented for 56 years.
Waiata reo Māori is firmly in the spotlight this year with finalist nominations led by recent Arts Foundation Laureate award recipient Maisey Rika, co-writer of both Hiwa-i-te-rangi and Turangawaewae. Rika’s 2020 album ‘Ngā Mata o te Ariki Tāwhirimātea’ turned ancient stories of Matariki into waiata and Hiwa-i-te-rangi celebrates the youngest star in the Matariki cluster.
Fellow co-writer and vocalist on the collaborative Turangawaewae track, Troy Kingi’s nostalgia-filled album ‘The Ghost of Freddie Cesar’ continues to win accolades with the ’70s-funk of All Your Ships Have Sailed in the finalist frame.
Very much in line with the present Aotearoa music industry movement, Flaxmere-born rapper Tipene Harmer encourages the celebration of Te Ao Māori with his co-written bilingual waiata Turangawaewae carrying the message of staying true to yourself.
The Beths’ love song Jump Rope Gazers is the title track from the Auckland indie darlings’ second album, already highly acclaimed and Album of the Year Tui-winner at last year’s inaugural Aotearoa Music Awards. Co-written with The Beths’ guitarist/producer Jonathan Pearce, Leave Love Out Of This is an expansive piano-driven political ballad which sees Taranaki-based singer-songwriter Anthonie Tonnon also return to the Silver Scroll top 5 limelight.
Maisey Rika is also among the three finalists for the APRA Maioha Award which recognises the art of contemporary Māori songwriting, honouring composers telling their stories in Te Ao Māori. The finalist waiata are:
- He Aio, written by Hamiora Tuari, Matthew Sadgrove, Sam Eriwata, and Tei Nohotima, performed by Haami.
- Toroa, written by Mara Te Kahika and Cory Champion, performed by Mara TK.
- Waitī Waitā, written by Maisey Rika and Seth Haapu, performed by Maisey Rika.
Some of Aotearoa’s best songwriters and composers have been shortlisted for three other awards that will also be presented at the 2021 APRA Silver Scroll Awards ceremony.
2021 finalists for the SOUNZ Contemporary Award, which celebrates excellence in contemporary composition are:
- Klein Fountain by Reuben Jellyman
- So Flamed In The Air by Neville Hall
- The Bewilderness by David Donaldson, Janet Roddick, and Steve Roche (Plan9)
- Karl Steven for Black Hands
- Rhian Sheehan for The Sounds
- Tom McLeod for Fight for the Wild
- Arli Liberman for Savage
- Ewan Clark for The Turn Of The Screw
- Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper for Shadow In The Cloud
Supported by NZ On Air and Te Māngai Pāho, the APRA Silver Scroll Award ceremony will be held on Thursday, October 14 at Spark Arena in Tāmaki Makaurau.