Kiwi R&B singer Aaradhna stopped the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards in its tracks last night with an incredible speech which saw her rejecting her Tui for Best Urban/Hip Hop artist. Aaradhna was lauded for her stance, refusing to accept the award in a hard hitting but necessary speech. This is what she said.
“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 his point SWIDT stepped up to the stage and accepted the award, saying: “thank you, sisted Rads!”
Aaradhna later performed her song Brown Girl, which she says “speaks on racism and being placed in a box”, and received a standing ovation.