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Pacific Music Awards Lifetime Achievement awarded to Fa'anana Jerome Grey

Story Published Monday 25 July 2022
Pacific Music Awards live event returns 4th August, tickets available

After a challenging two years for the awards, artists and industry, the Pacific Music Awards are returning to a live awards event – Thursday 4th August at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau, Auckland.

Iconic Samoan singer-songwriter Fa'anana Jerome Grey will be honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award at the 2022 Pacific Music Awards in August.

Grey’s iconic song ‘We Are Samoa’ became the unofficial anthem of the country, penned while Grey was homesick while travelling through Alaska in the late 1970s.

The song sent shockwaves through the industry and propelled Grey to stardom, including performing for former US President Jimmy Carter and Congress in 1980.

Prior to this, Grey worked with fellow musicians Seminary Uesele and Harry Sinapi, recording as a trio known as the Samoan Three.

Established in 1971, the Samoan Three covered contemporary songs by artists like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole and Sammy Davis.

The group were notable for their cultural versatility, singing songs in a variety of languages including Spanish, Latin, Hawaiian, Tahitian and Fijian.

A stalwart of Pacific music, Grey’s impact and legacy can be felt across the culture. His unique style pushed the boundaries and broke through an invisible barrier of what traditional music composition and entertainment across the Pacific was at that time.

New Pacific artists like Sol3 Mio, The Katinas, Lapi Mariner, Jamoa Jam, and Kapono Beamer were inspired by his work, with many of them recording covers of his original compositions.

In 2021 he was named Polynesia’s Artist of the Decade by the Asia Pacific Cultural Center in Tacoma, Washington.

Pacific Music Awards Trust spokesperson Rev. Mua Strickson-Pua says: “Fa'anana Jerome Grey continues our Te Moana Niu A Kiwa South Pacific musical tradition for our Pacific urban migration Diaspora generation for thousands of Samoans globally born away from our beloved Samoa.

“Jerome has provided us with a Samoan musical compass linking us to our Alofa of being Samoan, our Alofa for Samoa and our Alofa for Atua God Tupuaga ancestors showing us the way home.

“Fa'anana epitimises that Pacific composer who musically tells our Pacific stories Tala Fa'asolopito history, our Malaga journey, and our Tauivi struggles. He tells his love for Samoa, his love for the people of Samoa and in return we the Samoans around the world sing his Pese song in unison ‘We Are Samoa’.

“The Pacific Music Awards Trust humbly announces Fa'anana Jerome Grey as the Manukau Institute of Technology Lifetime Achievement recipient. Fa'avae i le Atua Samoa.”

Grey’s legacy will be celebrated at the Pacific Music Awards this August, with a special tribute performance created to honour his impact on the Pacific music scene.

Tickets available for 2022 Pacific Music Awards

After a challenging two years for the awards, artists and industry, the Pacific Music Awards are returning to a live awards event – Thursday 4th August at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau, Auckland.

Alongside the presentation of the awards, there will be live performances from House of Misfits, Kings, Mo. Etc, Sam V, SWIDT and Tomorrow People.

Tickets are $25 and are available through the Eventfinda website.

Announcing the new Creative New Zealand Award

The Pacific Music Awards Trust are thrilled to announce a new partnership with Creative New Zealand, to support Pacific artists, introducing the Creative New Zealand Award to the Pacific Music Awards.

The award comes under Creative New Zealand’s Pacific Arts Strategy 2018-2023 and the recipient will be announced at the 2022 Pacific Music Awards.

New sponsor for Best Producer category

The Trust also welcomes new sponsors, the Music Producers Guild NZ Aotearoa (MPG) and SAE institute (SAE), for the Best Producer Award.

MPG and SAE are providing a prize package to the winner of the award and will work with the Pacific Music Awards Trust to provide support for producers.

Kings and Pacific Music Awards Trust partner up to support independent artists

The Trust is also working with local artist Kings (founder and CEO of Arch Angel Records) to introduce support for independent artists. Arch Angel Records will be presenting the ‘Arch Angel Independent Music Award’.

CEO Kings says: “Arch Angel Records acknowledges the amazing work the Pacific Music Awards has done within the music industry and would love to participate in celebrating and honoring the vast amounts of talent within the Pacific community.”