Singer Aaradhna Patel refused to accept her award and the reason for declining the Tui, New Zealand’s equivalent to an ARIA, was because she felt “racially boxed in.” Everyone who attended the award was shocked at this. The 32-year old won the award for Best Urban/Hip-Hop Arist for her fourth album Brown Girl. In the mic-drop worthy speech, Patel described herself as being of mixed-race with Indian and Samoan heritage who is also a New Zealander.
She spoke on racism and also said that it felt like being placed in a box. Staring down at the award she continued, “For me, I feel like if I were to accept this award, I’m not being truthful to my song.”
The singer encouraged the Music Awards to create a separate award for R & B and soul singers. The singer refused the award on her belief the category was the “brown people” category.
Later she announced the award to a rapping group SWIDT, who also took it to Twitter describing it as historical and praise the singer for the moment.
Lyrics from her award-winning song Brown Girl include lines like “I’m more than the colour of my skin … I’m more than what they think of me … More than the colour tones that they see … More than urban and R & B, more than a slang that I speak.”