MusicBrought to you by

Aaradhna at the NZ Music Awards: ‘I feel like if I was to accept this, I’m not being truthful in my song’

Aaradhna just stopped the New Zealand Music Awards in its tracks with an incredible speech in which she declined to accept the Best Urban/Hip-Hop Album prize. This is what she said.

Aaradhna at the NZ Music Awards

Aaradhna at the NZ Music Awards

“So my father, his name is Jayanti Patel. He’s from a village, Navsari, in India. My mother’s name is Sia’a Moe, now Sia’a Patel, and she’s from Papa Sataua, Auala, Falealupo, Uta and Savai’i, Samoa.

“And then there’s me. I was born in Porirua, Wellington. And I’m a New Zealander.

“OK. So this song is ‘Brown Girl’, and it speaks so many things. It speaks on racism, and being placed in a box. And for me, I feel like if I was to accept this, I feel like I’m not being truthful in my song.

“And I feel like if you’re putting a singer next to a hip-hop artist, it’s not fair. I’m a singer, I’m not a rapper, I’m not a hip-hop artist. It feels like I’ve been placed in the category of brown people. That’s what it feels like.

“I feel like we need a soul/RnB category. So right now I feel like I want to give this to a hip-hop artist, because I feel like this is the kind of award that is for a hip-hop artist. And I want to give it to SWIDT, because I believe that you guys are the future of hip-hop, if you guys keep going. I want to give this to you guys.”

At which point SWIDT stepped up to the stage and accepted the award: “thank you, sister Rads!”

Read Aaradhna explain her motivations behind the speech in an exclusive interview conducted immediately after the awards here.

Photo by Rebecca Zephyr Thomas

Photo by Rebecca Zephyr Thomas

Read the Spinoff interview with Aaradhna here.


Listen to all the music you love on Spotify Premium, it’s free on all Spark’s Pay Monthly Mobile plans. Sign up and start listening today

The Spinoff has turned off comments. If you want to have your say on a story, please head to our Facebook or Twitter – or send a letter to the editor (we publish a selection weekly): info@thespinoff.co.nz. Thanks!