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Marlon Williams wins top prize at Silver Scrolls

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Marlon Williams is this year’s winner of the APRA Silver Scroll for his song ‘Nobody Gets What They Want Anymore’.

The singer-songwriter was presented with New Zealand’s premier songwriting prize at the awards ceremony at Auckland’s Spark Arena last night (October 4) for the track from his acclaimed album Make Way For Love, which was released earlier this year.

In his acceptance speech, Williams admitted that he had never found songwriting easy.

“I’ve always been a bit of a coward when it comes to writing songs – asking anyone who has watched me try they will tell you that it is about as pleasant as watching a kitten drown! The idea of putting anything of myself into my music is still something I find equally nauseating and enthralling by turn.

Hollie Smith and Anika Moa

But I definitely made a personal breakthrough in the writing of this album – and in this song in particular. I am proud of this song because it taught me something – I learned to cope with love and with grief through my own writing process.”

Williams also paid tribute in his speech to his former partner Aldous Harding who dueted with him on ‘Nobody Gets What They Want Anymore’, paying tribute to her “unmatched and timeless voice” and for “so many years of discovery and friendship and love”.

In the other awards presented at the Silver Scrolls, Ria Hall, Tiki Taane and Te Ori Paki won the APRA Maioha Award for the song ‘Te Ahi Kai Pō’, while the SOUNZ Contemporary Award went to Michael Norris for ‘Sygyt’. And in the screen category Conrad Wedde, Lukasz Buda, Samuel Scott took home the APRA Best Original Music in a Series for Cleverman, while David Long’s score for McLaren earned him the prize for APRA Best Original Music in a Feature Film.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, meanwhile, offically inducted APRA chair Jenny Morris into the NZ Music Hall Of Fame and revealed she was a big fan of the singer’s second solo album while growing up.

Jenny Morris and Jacinda Ardern

Shiver was the second cassette my sister and I ever bought,” the PM, who is also the Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, recalled: “Buying a tape in those days was such a big deal that we pooled our pocket money for it. And when it came to Jenny there was no disagreement. She wrote anthems that didn’t just deserve to be sung, they deserved to be repeated over and over on your walkman.”

The 2018 APRA Silver Scrolls Awards were hosted by singer-songwriter Anika Moa, who had the crowd stitches with her musical impersonations of previous winners such as Dave Dobbyn and Hollie Smith, while the musical director for the event was past Silver Scroll winner Bic Runga, who enlisted the likes of Lontalius, Aaradhna, Teeks and Ladyhawke to perform the short-listed songs.

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