Moana movie wins Top Soundtrack at American Music Awards

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

The soundtrack for Disney's film Moana has won the Top Soundtrack at the American Music Awards. Producers of the winning soundtrack included Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina and New Zealand raised Opetaia Foa'i. 

Moana movie wins top movie soundtrack at American Music Awards.

"To see all the young faces singing the songs in the Polynesian language in the Māori language I cannot tell you how, it brings tears to my eyes. I better not go on because I might just show you what tears look like," says Opetaia Foa'i.

A songwriter for the musical animated feature film "Moana", Opetaia Foa'i says it allows Polynesia culture and languages to shine again. 

"Songs written in the pacific language, telling our fantastic voyages of our ancestors, our original pioneers, how they lived which is really our culture passed down."

The "Moana" soundtrack has spent 23 weeks in the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart. Ko tā Opetaia Foa'i, nā 

"It's unique to this area, this area geographically the South Pacific these things do not exist anywhere else and because it's true people do feel it, feel the integrity and take it in."

He hopes the next generation can build momentum in this industry.

"I would like our young composers to get in there and show them the next generations stuff."

Opetaia Foa'i is currently preparing his band Te Vaka for performances around the world in 2017 and 2018.