From the popular to the creative: a night at the Silver Scrolls

Marlon Williams at The 2018 APRA Silver Scrolls Awards.
Marlon Williams at The 2018 APRA Silver Scrolls Awards. Photo: Hannah Rolfe
The 2018 APRA Silver Scrolls Awards. Photo: James Ensing-Trussell
Jacinda Ardern and Mercedes Ackerman of The Big Idea
Jacinda Ardern to Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Mercedes Ackerman hangs with the good and the great for an inside experience of Aotearoa’s favourite night out.

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In a world of popularity contests and plastic entertainment, events like the APRA Silver Scrolls shine out like a beacon in tribute to creativity. This night inspires artists to push the boundaries and think with no box rather than just outside the box of music.  Artistic driven, led, and voted on by peers, creatives are validated on their work and others are inspired.

The Silver Scrolls hold a deep history of amazing artists to its name, from the likes of Lorde in recent years to Don McGlashan, Dave Dobbyn, Che Fu and Nesian Mystik inspiring generations of New Zealand music.

APRA Silver Scroll winner Marlon Williams recalls “I’ve been coming to the Scrolls on and off since I was 18. I’m no stranger to the excitement and the glory and the incredible list of songwriters that have won this award.

“Of all the awards in the industry, this is the one. It’s peer nominated, it’s artists talking about art. As far as awards go it’s as real as it gets.

“I’m really proud.”

Marlon Williams at The 2018 APRA Silver Scrolls Awards. Photo by Hannah Rolfe

Feeling truly chuffed, The Big Idea caught up with the Christchurch native after having his powerful song Nobody Gets What They Want Anymore receive the top honour, a moment he said felt “surreal” and has encouraged him to “keep pushing boundaries and exploring the scale.”

Williams had hot competition for this year’s trophy, edging an eclectic group of talented performers including Chelsea Jade, Elizabeth Stokes of The Beths, Troy Kingi and Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s songwriting trio Ruban Nielson, Kody Nielson and Jacob Portrait. It’s a list that Williams points out proves “there’s a consistently high quality of creativity going on in this country.”

With a crowd including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, dames and knights of the realm to the rising talent and the staples of New Zealand music, those in attendance were enthralled by a visual and aural treat - a real tribute to the skills of the hilarious MC Anika Moa and music director Bic Runga.

The unique twist of the Silver Scrolls sees other artists given an opportunity to interpret the finalists’ songs. ‘Laugh It Off’ writer and performer Chelsea Jade explains the feeling of seeing your work “bare and stripped away from the context you’ve given it.

“To have it stand in somebody else’s context, it really does assure you… that the song is good.”

Awards ceremonies all too often can feel competitive and petty, but the supportive, creatively driven feel of the night set it miles apart. The heart felt reaction to Ria Hall, Tiki Taane and Te Ori Paki winning the APRA Maioha Award celebrating exceptional waiata featuring Te Reo Maori left a lasting impression.

Inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame, Jenny Morris provided the audience with a stunning look into her impact and dedication spanning over 40 years in the music industry with a well deserved standing ovation for her service to the arts. Ladyhawke performed a flawless cover of her hit Break In The Weather.

Awards ceremonies all too often can feel competitive and petty, but the supportive, creatively driven feel of the night set it miles apart. The heart felt reaction to Ria Hall, Tiki Taane and Te Ori Paki winning the APRA Maioha Award celebrating exceptional waiata featuring Te Reo Maori left a lasting impression.

While only a handful of artists walked away with trophies from Spark Arena, the true winners are the music loving public of Aotearoa. The Silver Scrolls have always been and remain a true testament to supporting the arts and the importance of nurturing young talent.

By Mercedes Ackerman

Jacinda Ardern and Mercedes Ackerman of The Big Idea

Written by

Mercedes Ackerman

5 Oct 2018

Writer, producer, content specialist, art lover, coffee snob, car enthusiast, & thrill seeker.

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