Stella Bennett (Benee), Joshua Fountain, and Djeisan Suskov have won the 2020 APRA Silver Scroll Award for their hit song Glitter (published by Sony/ATV Publishing and Universal Music Publishing).
Following on from Soaked in 2019, this is the second consecutive nomination for the trio of songwriters and Stella Bennett was thrilled to win the Silver Scroll for the first time.
“This is nuts. Thank you very much. This is crazy. I just want to say to all the other finalists, you guys are insane.
“Thank you so much to everyone who has listened to my music and supported the music that I’m making and the kind of music that I want to be making…the support that I’ve received over the past couple of years now has been insane, and I feel like everyone in New Zealand is so welcoming and supportive of new artists, which I think is very important, and it’s been a very great time for me, so thank you very much.”
Bennett and Fountain have worked together since Benee’s 2017 debut single Lonely Guy, through to the chart dominating Supalonely and have now teamed up with Suskov on the double platinum hit Soaked, as well as Glitter and a number of other hits that have seen Benee become a worldwide phenomenon. Suskov and Fountain have also found success with their laid-back pop group Leisure, and Fountain winning the Tui for Best Producer in 2019.
The Silver Scroll Award, which is voted for by APRA members, is a delightful acknowledgment from Bennett, Fountain, and Suskov’s fellow songwriters on the impact their songwriting has. It recognises their memorable work on Glitter, and will see their names engraved alongside other Aotearoa musical luminaries like Aldous Harding, Marlon Williams, Bic Runga, Ruban and Kody Nielson, Scribe and P Money, Chris Knox, Dave Dobbyn, and Shona Laing.
Fur Patrol pop punk star turned folk songstress Julia Deans was the music director of tonight’s 55th APRA Silver Scroll ceremony, which saw a host of other Aotearoa songwriters collect awards.
Rob Ruha was presented with the APRA Maioha Award. The APRA Maioha Award recognises exceptional waiata featuring te reo Māori, and the Ruha was celebrated for his song Ka Mānu.
Rob Ruha (Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Rongowhakaata, Tainui, Te Arawa, Ngā Ariki-kaipūtahi, Ngā Puhi) has been a finalist multiple times, and also won the Maioha Award first in 2014, and again in 2016. The winning song Ka Mānu is a waiata written in response to the dispute around Ihumātao, speaking of unity and peaceful resistance, and highlighting the issues of oppression for indigenous people around the world. In continuing the theme of unity, the song brings together musicians from across Aotearoa for a stirring performance full of aroha and hope.
Wellington composer Michael Norris won the SOUNZ Contemporary Award – Te Tohu Auaha for the fourth time for his latest composition, Mātauranga (Rerenga). He previously won in 2014 for Inner Phases, 2018 for Sygyt, and 2019 for Sama Violin Concerto.
Commissioned by the NZSO, Michael Norris’ Mātauranga (Rerenga) is a work for orchestra, taonga puoro and live electronics which reflects on Captain Cook’s first voyage to the South Pacific and his arrival in Aotearoa. Norris (who has been a finalist six times and won the award three times) recognised the many issues surrounding Cook's arrival in New Zealand, and the piece is not so much a celebration as an evocation of a moment in time.
Karl Steven won Best Original Music in a Feature Film for his score on the cult-horror film Come To Daddy. This was his third Screen Award win at the Silver Scrolls and seventh nomination and his work on Come To Daddy has been applauded for its characterful chamber orchestra score which balances intrigue, knife-edge tension, and mayhem, enhancing the unpredictable storyline that unfolds as a son reunites with his estranged father in a remote location.
And David Long (also a former finalist and winner), took home Best Original Music in a Series for his work on the sumptuous international co-production The Luminaries (published by Native Tongue Music Publishing). Based on Eleanor Catton’s acclaimed historical novel, the series unravels an incredible tale of star-crossed love bound up in a gold-rush mystery, and Long’s score carefully intertwines the spiritual with the gritty, building drama while also delineating the many characters who cross paths.
This year amidst the uncertainties of COVID-19, APRA made the decision to move the awards ceremony to an online streaming platform for the first time in what was an incredible opportunity to capture the much-treasured performances of each Scroll nominee in a studio environment.
This year’s cover performances included:
- Benee, Glitter – performed by Delaney Davidson and The All Girl Big Band
- Troy Kingi, Mighty Invader – performed by Alien Weaponry
- Nadia Reid, Get The Devil Out – performed by Neil MacLeod
- Reb Fountain, Don’t You Know Who I Am – performed by Disciple Pati
- L.A.B., In The Air – performed by Mousey
- Michael Norris, Mātauranga (Rerenga) – performed by Sam Trevethick, Darren Matthiassen, and Nick Robinson (members of Shapeshifter) with Tiki Taane
- Rob Ruha, Ka Mānu – performed by Tomorrow People
The ceremony also included a very special performance of the Weta song Calling On performed by Julia Deans, Anika Moa, Anna Coddington, Hollie Smith, Lauren Barus and Natalia Sheppard in tribute to Aaron Tokona and in memoriam to members of the music community who were lost this year.
The night was rounded off with a tribute to Max Merritt, with an ensemble performance of his soulful classic Slipping Away, by all 2020 Silver Scroll performers around Aotearoa, and led by Marlon Williams.
The winners of all awards were:
APRA Silver Scroll Award: Stella Bennett, Joshua Fountain and Djeisan Suskov – Glitter – performed by Benee (published by Sony/ATV Publishing and Universal Music Publishing)
APRA Maioha Award: Rob Ruha – Ka Mānu
SOUNZ Contemporary Award – Te Tohu Auaha: Michael Norris – Mātauranga (Rerenga)
APRA Best Original Music in a Feature Film Award: Karl Steven – Come To Daddy
APRA Best Original Music in a Series Award: David Long – The Luminaries (published by Native Tongue Music Publishing)
The awards are proudly supported by NZ On Air and Te Māngai Pāho.