Vodafone NZ Music Awards Finalists Announced

October 14th 2016
With five weeks to go until the 51st Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards it’s time to reveal the Tui finalists at NZ’s biggest night in entertainment.

Live performances by Shapeshifter, Tami Neilson, Aaradhna, MAALA, KINGS, Fat Freddy’s Drop and 2016’s Legacy Award Recipient Bic Runga

2016 Artisan Award finalists revealed

NZ on Air Critics’ Choice Prize line-up

With five weeks to go until the 51st Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards it’s time to reveal the Tui finalists at NZ’s biggest night in entertainment.

First up for this year’s Tui contenders are pop group Broods (pictured). Their sophomore album Conscious dropped in June 2016 and was hugely popular both here and overseas.

Brother and sister duo Caleb and Georgia Nott are finalists for five Tui Awards including the Godfrey Hirst Album of the Year, Best Group, The Edge Best Pop Album, Vodafone People’s Choice Award and Vodafone Single of the Year for their song ‘Free’.

After the release of her fourth album Brown Girl, Kiwi singer-songwriter Aaradhna is nominated for four Tui Awards – Godfrey Hirst Album of the Year, Fiji Airways Best Female Solo Artist, Best Urban/Hip Hop Album and Vodafone Single of the Year for ‘Brown Girl’.

Another quadruple award nominee at this year’s Music Awards is newcomer MAALA. After the breakout success of his debut album Composure he’ll be contending for Best Male Solo Artist, The Edge Best Pop Album, Vodafone People’s Choice Award and Vodafone Single of the Year for the infectious ‘Kind of Love’.

It wouldn’t be a kiwi summer without the smooth tunes of Fat Freddy’s Drop, who are also nominated for four Tuis – Godfrey Hirst Album of the Year, Best Group, Vodafone People’s Choice Award and Best Roots Album for their album Bays.

New Zealand indie rockers The Phoenix Foundation are no strangers to the VNZMAs and have been nominated again for their latest album Give Up Your Dreams. The 10 track offering has earned the band three Tui nominations – Godfrey Hirst Album of the Year, Best Alternative Album and Best Group.

Other nominees for awards at this year’s ceremony include Avalanche City for Best Male Solo Artist and The Edge Best Pop Album, Hollie Smith for Godfrey Hirst Album of the Year and Fiji Airways Best Female Solo Artist, KINGS for Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Vodafone People’s Choice Award and Vodafone Single of the Year for ‘Don’t Worry Bout’ It’, Rob Ruha for Te Mangai Paho’s Best Maori Album and Best Roots Album and Tami Neilson for Godfrey Hirst Album of the Year and Fiji Airways Best Female Solo Artist.

The recipients of Vodafone Highest Selling Single, Three Highest Selling Album, NZ On Air Radio Airplay Record of the Year and the International Achievement award will also be announced on the night.

“It has been a phenomenal year for local music, and an incredible range of quality recordings have been released. We can’t wait to celebrate the spectrum of talent that we have in this country on the 17th of November.” says Damian Vaughan, CEO, Recorded Music NZ.

A stellar line up for the event

What would the Music Awards be without star-studded live performances on the night? This year, there will be seven acts gracing the Music Award’s stage from across the categories that are sure to please the audience.

The performers include ShapeshifterMAALAAaradhnaKingsTami NeilsonFat Freddy’s Drop and a special performance from our 2016 NZ Herald Legacy Award recipient Bic Runga.

And if you’re unable to make it on the night, TV3 will be broadcasting live across New Zealand from 8.30pm.

Whether you’re on the red carpet or your couch at home, you’ll be able to watch some of New Zealand’s finest musical talent at the Music Awards on November 17th.

Introducing the Artisan Awards 

The inaugural Artisan Awards celebrates the behind the scene excellence of the industry at a standalone cocktail event on 20 October, spotlighting the Artisans who bring the musicians’ visions to life.

Recorded Music Chief Executive Officer Damian Vaughan says ‘We created this standalone event to specifically acknowledge those who capture, craft and enrich the artists’ musical works into final recordings, as well as the talented visual artists translating the musicians’ visions into album artwork and music videos.’

The nominees for Massey University’s Best Producer this year are Josh Fountain for his work on MAALA’s ComposureJoel Little for his contributions to Brood’s sophomore album Conscious and Devin Abrams (as Pacific Heights) for his album The Stillness.

This year’s nominees for Best Engineer are Samuel Flynn Scott & Lee Prebble for their work on Dave Dobbyn’s Harmony HouseMiller & Phil Yule for their engineering on Miller’s debut EP Shoot Me In The Heart, and Joel Little for his efforts on Brood’s album Conscious.

The calibre of album art being produced across New Zealand gets better and better every year, and the nominees for this year’s Best Album Cover showcase that talent.

Simon Faisandier has secured a nomination for his work on ARISE’s Road To You, and will be joined by Auckland-based illustrator Henrietta Harris for her album cover for Lontalius’ I’ll Forget 17Anns Taylor is also nominated for Lawrence Arabia’s Absolute Truth album cover.

Visual mediums have always been an exciting part of the music industry and the music video will forever be an integral element of bringing songs to life. The three nominees for NZ On Air Best Music Video this year ooze with creativity and push the medium into new and exciting places.

The sensational video for ‘Secret Lives of Furniture’ by Ha the Unclear has earned Simon Oliver a nomination, along with Sam Peacocke for the stunning video accompanying ‘Buried By The Burden’ by Pacific Heights featuring Louis Baker. Chris Lane has also secured a place in the top three for ‘Inside Out’, a magnificent lead single from Avalanche City’s sophomore album.

NZ On Air Critics’ Choice Prize

This year’s Critics’ Choice event brings together a range of unique artists and performers – from psychedelic and low-fi indie rock through to Onehunga-infused hip hop, telling stories about what it means to grow up in New Zealand’s most bustling city.

Kane Strang’s sensibilities for songwriting err toward the peculiar, being enhanced rather than restricted by a lo-fi psych-pop sound. His debut release Blue Cheese grew in reputation long since its conception, written over two curious months of nested isolation in Strang’s hometown of Dunedin.

His brand of guitar-pop pays heed to the city’s musical history while seeking its own more contemporary ends. Strang’s amassed band of cohorts bring his vision live to the stage to arresting impact, charming crowds with his sideways slant of guitar pop.

Having toured New Zealand the band has now settled into full production mode for the next LP, set for release in 2017.

From Dunedin to Onehunga, Auckland City has been nurturing some of the best New Zealand hip hop for decades, and Spycc & INF are no exception.

Along with SmokeyGotBeatz they are part of SWIDT – which stands for ‘See What I Did There? – a creative collective that also includes JAMAL, Boomer and AZA.

As solo artists and as part of SWIDT, Spycc and INF have definitely had their wins and are now planning their debut album as a duo.

As Scuba Diva, Auckland’s Jimmy Mac makes plush alt-pop indebted to the hi-fi sounds of classic rock and squelchy synth-tones of 70s jazz-fusion, p-funk and early 80s boogie.

Prior to Scuba Diva, Jimmy toured with Lorde as her keyboardist and Ableton operator, and drummed for New Zealand bands Popstrangers and The DHDFDs.

His first two singles as Scuba Diva ‘What’s The Point?’ and ‘Marimba’ were co-produced by Kody Nielson (Silicon) and have received love on alternative radio stations up and down the country.

The NZ on Air Critics’ Choice Prize event and winner announcement will be hosted on November 2nd at Tuning Fork next to Vector Arena and the winner will receive:

· A $8,000 NZ On Air ‘New Music Single’ grant to be used for recording a song and/or accompanying music video

· A $1,500 voucher for audio services at Stebbing Recording Centre

· Mentoring sessions from industry professionals, and a year’s membership to the Music Manager’s Forum (NZ)

Key dates for 2016 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards:

· Thursday, 20 October:
Artisan awards (Pullman Hotel)

· Wednesday, 2 November
NZ On Air Critics’ Choice Prize event and winner announcement (Tuning Fork)

· Thursday, 17 November
Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards ceremony (Vector Arena)

The Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards will be broadcast live on TV3, streamed live on TV3.co.nz from 8.30pm and then available on 3NOW.

Tickets available from Ticketmaster, $25 general admission + booking fee.

Check out the awards on social media at @VNZMA and use the hashtag #VNZMA.

Follow the Awards news online: www.nzmusicawards.co.nz

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