Moana performance to kick off Vodafone NZ Music Awards

This week's Music Awards will be kicked off by one of its biggest performances to date.

The Disney smash hit, We Know the Way, from Moana will be performed by the man who wrote it, backed up by more than 30 Pacific singers and dancers.

'We Know the Way' made it into the Billboard Hot 100, and it's had almost 100 million views on YouTube.

Now Kiwis will get to see it performed live at this year's Music Awards at the Spark Arena on Thursday night. 

Songwriter Opetaia Foa'i has been creating Polynesia inspired music for more than 20 years.

"If you can imagine getting a call from Disney that says 'imagine 2000 years ago, Lion King set in the South Pacific and we want you to write the music.'  I was speechless for about a minute I think," said Mr Opetaia

But despite its global success he says he's worried about performing it in front of a home crowd.

"I have performed in Hollywood, England as well, I did the London opening premiere, and I was not nervous... It's actually more nervous to bring it here than over there," he said.

Opetaia Foa'i has teamed up with his daughter Olivia and more than 30 singers and dancers from Saintz Up Performing Arts Trust. The choir will be led by Nainz Tupai.

Viewers may think they'd been practicing for months, but apparently it didn't take long to learn.

"We've seen the movie Moana so like we know most of the lyrics already," said choir member Katelyn Rewcastle.

"It's definitely a privilege to be able to show people who we are as our native islands," said choir member Shonbanet Tiatia.

From the Pacific to Hollywood and back again.  They're hoping to make Thursday night's performance one of Disney proportions.