Give it up for Savage

BY CATH BENNETT
Last updated 05:00 24/05/2009
Sunday News Front Page, May 24

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HIP hop heavyweight Savage was celebrating last night after winning an award created in his honour.

The singer jetted into the country from the US to be presented with the inaugural International Breakthrough accolade at the Pacific Music Awards.

Event bosses created the new category to mark the 27-year-old's phenomenal success in the States with his debut single Swing.

It was used in the hit movie Knocked Up and went on to sell more than 1.8 million copies, making it almost double platinum.

"It means a lot," said Savage, real name Demetrius Savelio.

"Of course I am enjoying America but it's always good to come home and this is such a great event."

Savage was handed the award by event organiser Reverend Mua Strickson-Pua and Universal Music boss Adam Holt who had the idea of putting Swing in the US iTunes store, kick-starting the single's overseas success.

"It's a unique award. We felt it was important to promote excellence," Strickson-Pua told Sunday News.

"We hope it will inspire and challenge other artists and show them what they can achieve."

While former Deceptikonz star Savage was a popular winner at last night's ceremony, the evening really belonged to Nesian Mystik, who had a clean sweep of all the categories for which they were nominated.

The six-piece, who formed a decade ago at Auckland's Western Springs College, picked up a whopping four awards at the bash at the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre in Manukau City.

They were honoured with gongs for Best Pacific Urban Artist, Best Pacific Group and Best Pacific Song for the single Nesian 101.

The multicultural group whose members have Maori, Tongan, Samoan and Cook Island ancestry also picked up the coveted Tui for the Best Pacific Music Album for Elevator Musiq.

"I'm ecstatic," said vocalist Awa Reeder. "Even just to be here is great we've never even been eligible for these awards before."

Ladi6, real name Karoline Tamati, wasn't at the bash but was named Best Pacific Female Artist for her debut solo album Time Is Not Much, while Savage's former Deceptikonz bandmate Devolo picked up Best Pacific Male Artist for Heaven and Hell. The People's Choice Award went to the South Auckland Community Church band.

Che Fu paid tribute to his dad Tigilau Ness, who won the Lifetime Achievement Award, by taking to the stage with his band The Krates.

Other live performances came from Ill Semantics, J. Williams, Iva Lamkum, P Money and men of the moment Nesian Mystik.

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The fifth annual Pacific Music Awards were again sponsored by S 3 a project dedicated to ensuring young people drive slower, sober and safer on the roads in New Zealand.

- Sunday News

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