"I feel like I'm being placed in a category for brown people."
It was a powerful moment for R&B singer Aaradhna at the New Zealand Music Awards. She won Best Urban/Hip Hop album but rejected the accolade. She said the category was reflective of racism and simply did not apply to her.
"It speaks on many things, it speaks on racism and being placed in a box. And for me, if I were to accept this, I feel like I'm not being truthful to my song," she said, referencing her song "Brown Girl".
"I feel like if you're putting a signer next to a hip-hop artist it's not fair."
The 32-year-old singer had won the award for best female solo earlier that night.
"We need a soul R&B category," she said.
She said she felt like giving the award to a hip-hop artist and invited rap group SWIDT on stage.
"I believe you guys are the future of hip-hop if you keep going," she said.
Aaradhna has been on the music charts in New Zealand since 2006, her album "Brown Girl" was number one on the Official New Zealand Music Charts this year.