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Pacific Music Awards Announce Lifetime Achievement Award and Event Format

Story Published Monday 28 September 2020
Daniel Rae Costello

The Pacific Music Awards Trust are proud to announce the Manukau Institute of Technology Lifetime Achievement Award will be posthumously presented to Daniel Rae Costello, the Fijian guitarist who captured the hearts of listeners globally.

Daniel’s legacy will be honoured with the award at the 2020 Pacific Music Awards on Wednesday 30 September. Costello's music captured many hearts across the Pacific and the world, with strong influences by the Caribbean sound.

He released 30 albums throughout a long, influential career, with his debut album Tropical Sunset released in 1979.

While his debut album didn’t see widespread success, a year later he struck gold with his second album Lania, which was hugely popular with audiences in Fiji and around the Pacific. From there, he quickly became known for his excellent live performances.

Lania reached #1 in Fiji and across the Pacific and kickstarted Daniel’s music career. It was recorded with Pacific music legends like Tui Ravai on piano, Paul Stevens on drums, Vili Tuilaucala on guitars, Saimoni Waqa on bass, DJ Spooky on percussions, and Irene Taylor, Annie Kumar & Lela on backing vocals.

He moved to Australia a few years later because of the 1987 Fijian coups d'état where he wrote two songs, ‘Samba’ and ‘Take Me To The Island’, before returning to Fiji and starting his own studio and production suite called Tango Sound Productions. It was here he recorded his first big hit album, Samba.

Samba went on to sell more than 300,000 units in 1990-1993, proving to Daniel and the wider Pacific community it was possible to make a living solely from music alone in the Islands.

Daniel passed in 2019 after a long battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife Corrina Gibson-Costello and his five children, leaving behind a legacy of Pacific achievement, having travelled and performed in over 20 countries, recorded over 30 albums and played over 4,000 gigs. He inspired a generation of young musicians to pursue their dreams.

There will be a special tribute performance to Daniel Rae Costello, by well known Fijian artist Stevie Heatley, a close friend of Daniels, supported by TCB, which was Daniel’s touring band for New Zealand and the Pacific, 2013-2015.

Pacific Music Awards 2020 Format Announcement

Due to COVID-19 and precautions to avoid public health crises, the Pacific Music Awards Trust announce today there will be no live event on Wednesday 30 September for the Pacific Music Awards as planned.

Instead, the awards and performances will be filmed and presented online, with a Tagata Pasifika special airing on television later in the month. The event will be shared as an online presentation at 7pm on Saturday 3 October, and a Tagata Pasifika special will be screened on TV1 on Saturday 17 October, 9.30-11am.

The 2020 Pacific Music Awards will feature live performances by the new wave of Pacific artists: Church & AP, Lomez Brown, Lou’ana, Shepherds Reign, Lani Alo, and Disciple Pati.

Chairman and spokesperson Rev. Mua Strickson-Pua say given the current environment and our responsibility for our community, this is the best decision for the awards.

“2020 Pacific Music Awards Online breaks new ground in the musical Malaga/journey of its being about our Musicians our Musika/music of Te Moana Nui-a-kiwa people of the Pacific Moana Oceania but importantly it is about building up our people with Musika of Resilience and Hope that’s why it is You & Us Family, Community & Society together united Kotahitanga Unity being that family of humanity for this time of moving into the unknown nga manaaki manuia blessings. Our Waka Va’a Vaka canoe of life as it travels through the ocean of uncertainty to our drum beats of Musika of Resilience and Hope.”

“We hope our audience around Aotearoa, the Pacific and the world, will be able to join us on both those dates. Amidst the waves of change, we have kept moving forward and this option allows us to maintain the celebration of our 2020 finalists and award recipients, and the connection with our community at this time,” says Petrina Togi-Sa’ena, Event Producer.

“The Trust would like to sincerely thank our family of sponsors and funders for their support. We also acknowledge the event, production, television and media teams who collaborated to find the best way to deliver the awards event this year.

“To create the online and television content, we will film and capture as much live content as we can, and we will absolutely ensure we adhere to the restrictions and guidelines for events; and provide a safe environment for everyone involved,” says Togi-Sa’ena.

The Trust is also happy to share that we have extended our support programme for Pacific artists, anchored by support received from Creative New Zealand. This is aptly named the Tautua Programme, based on the Samoan proverb: O le ala i le pule, o le tautua, the pathway to authority is through service.

Due to the impact on the music industry this year, the Tautua Programme will focus on providing mentoring and artist development support, and presenting the activities that were unable to take place earlier in the year. These include music industry workshops with MMF and APRA, as well as mentoring for young artists working with smokefree Tangata Beat. More information will be available soon.