Auckland live best independent debut award finalist announced!

The Taite Music Prize highlights outstanding New Zealand albums released in the past year. The award is open to all genres of music and judged on artistic merit regardless of genre, sales, or record label.

Today, Independent Music NZ (IMNZ) is very pleased to announce the finalists for the Taite Music Prize 2021 and the Auckland Live Best Independent Debut Award. These two prestigious awards will be awarded on Tuesday, April 20th, 2021 at Auckland’s Q Theatre alongside the yet to be announced Classic Record and the Independent Spirit Award recipients.

Named after the late Dylan Taite, one of New Zealand’s most respected music journalists, the Taite Music Prize recognises outstanding creativity for an entire collection of music contained in one recording. The prize winner will receive a cash prize of $12,500, thanks to founding partner Recorded Music NZ and supporting partner NZ Music Commission.

The ten albums in contention for the 2021 prize include some of Aotearoa’s finest musicians:

Anna Coddington – Beams (Loop Recordings Aot(ear)oa)
L.A.B – L.A.B IV (Loop Recordings Aot(ear)oa)
Nadia Reid – Out Of My Province (Slow Time Records)
Reb Fountain – Reb Fountain (Flying Nun Records)
Ria Hall – Manawa Wera (Loop Recordings Aot(ear)oa)
Tami Neilson – Chickaboom! (Neilson Records)
The Beths – Jump Rope Gazers (Carpark Records)
The Phoenix Foundation – Friend Ship (The Phoenix Foundation Ltd. / Universal NZ)
Troy Kingi – The Ghost of Freddie Cesar (AAA Records)
Wax Chattels – Clot (Flying Nun Records)

The Auckland Live Best Independent Debut Award celebrates the freshest talent of Aotearoa. The winner receives a $2000 cash prize plus a performance or technical upskilling opportunity thanks to Auckland Live.

The three albums nominated for the 2021Auckland Live Best Independent Debut Award:

Amamelia – WOW! (Sunreturn)
Dick Move – Chop! (1:12 Records)
Na Noise – Waiting For You (1:12 Records)

The ceremony also includes the presentation of the Independent Music NZ Classic Record award. This award acknowledges one New Zealand record released over 20 years ago on an independent label. These records, whether a 12”, a compilation, EP, or full-length album have become quintessential gold nuggets of our musical history.

Now in its third year, the Independent Spirit Award recognises and celebrates a New Zealander: someone who is passionate about NZ music; who’s ahead of the game in creativity, diversity, and imagination; and has dedicated themself to helping artists and the wider music community to grow and find their own unique pathways. The annual recipient is determined by the IMNZ Board.

IMNZ General Manager, Dylan Pellett says, “Another year of diverse musical talent is on display within this year’s finalists. I’d like to extend a hearty congratulations to all the finalists and look forward to celebrating with you all in April this year!”

Any New Zealand album released during the calendar year of 2020 was eligible for nomination for the Taite Music Prize 2021. The winner receives a newly increased cash prize of $12,500, thanks to Founding Partner Recorded Music NZ and supporting partner NZ Music Commission.

A voting academy of all current members of IMNZ, musicians, and music industry personnel voted to produce the shortlisted finalist albums. An independent panel debates and scrutinises the shortlisted albums to decide the winner. That panel comprises musicians, journalists, and music industry professionals with a wide variety of different professional backgrounds and personal tastes.

The announcement of the winner will happen in Auckland at Auckland’s Q Theatre on 20th April 2021.

The Taite Music Prize:

Presented by: Independent Music New Zealand (IMNZ) Founding Partner: Recorded Music NZ Official Partners: NZ On Air / The Taite Family Award Partners: Auckland Live Event Partners: Q Theatre / ACOM Supporting Partners: NZ Music Commission / APRA AMCOS / Te Mangai Paho / College Hill Productions / Tone Deaf / Media Arts Lawyers / Red Bull Studios Auckland / Commotion Ltd. / McCarthy DesignMedia Partners: RNZ Music / 95bFM Charity Partners: MusicHelps

Previous winners of The Taite Prize: 2010 – Lawrence Arabia – Chant Darling (Honorary Bedouin Records)]

2011 – Ladi6 – The Liberation Of (What? Music)
2012 – Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Unknown Mortal Orchestra (Seeing Records)
2013 – SJD – Elastic Wasteland (Round Trip Mars)
2014 – Lorde – Pure Heroine (Universal Music NZ)
2015 – Jakob – Sines (Shoot The Freak)
2016 – Silicon – Personal Computer (Weird World/Domino Recordings)
2017 – Street Chant – Hauora (Arch Hill Recordings)
2018 – Aldous Harding – Party (Flying Nun Records / 4AD)
2019 – Avantdale Bowling Club – Avantdale Bowling Club (Years Gone By)
2020 – Troy Kingi – Holy Colony Burning Acres (Triple A Records)

Previous Winners of the Independent Music NZ Classic Record:

2013 – Gordons – Gordons (Flying Nun)
2014 – Various Artists – AK79 (Ripper Records)
2015 – Herbs – What’s Be Happen? (Warrior Records)
2016 – Upper Hutt Posse – E Tū (Jayrem Records)
2017 – The Clean – Boodle Boodle Boodle (Flying Nun)
2018 – Headless Chickens – Stunt Clown (Flying Nun)
2019 – Moana and the Moahunters – Tahi (Southside)
2020 – Shona Laing – South (Pagan Records)

Previous Winners of the Auckland Live Best Independent Debut:

2017 – Merk – Swordfish (self released)
2018 – The Miltones – The Miltones (Self-released)
2019 – Alien Weaponry – Tū (Self-released)
2020 – Repulsive Woman – Relief (Independent)

Independent Spirit Award

2019 – Bernie Griffin
2020 – Murray Cammick

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