Pop sensation BENEE made her mark on the New Zealand music history tonight, taking home four Tui at the 54th Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards at Spark Arena in Auckland. The nineteen-year-old was awarded Best Solo Artist | Te Kaipuoro Takitahi Toa and Vodafone Single of the Year | Te Waiata Tōtahi o te Tau on the back of her certified platinum debut single ‘Soaked’. She also claimed The Edge Best Pop Artist | Te Kaipuoro Arotini Toa and Smirnoff Pure Potential Breakthrough Artist of the Year | Te Kaituhura Puoro Toa o te Tau for her latest album FIRE ON MARZZ.
Hip hop meets jazz in Avantdale Bowling Club’s self-titled debut album by Tom Scott which received two Tui including the coveted THREE Album of the Year | Te Pukaemi o te Tau and Best Hip Hop Artist | Te Kaipuoro Hipihope Toa. The album, which hit #1 in the Official New Zealand Music Charts, was conceptualised by artist Tom Scott along with talented musicians who brought each song to life. He also performed ‘Home’ with the Avondale Intermediate School Choir, a homage the school he attended in his youth.
Also picking up two Tui was indie-pop band The Beths for Best Group | Te Roopu Toa and Best Alternative Artist | Te Kaipuoro Manohi Toa, following the success of their debut album Future Me Hates Me in 2018. The four-piece band has been taking New Zealand and the world by storm, with sell-out shows across New Zealand, Europe and the UK.
For the second year in a row veterans, Six60 picked up Vodafone Highest Selling Artist I Te Toa Hoko Teitei and NZ On Air Radio Airplay Record of the Year | Te Rikoata Marakerake o te Tau, further cementing their place as a Kiwi favourite. They also took out Vodafone People’s Choice Award | Te Kōwhiri o te Nuinga.
As a result of the success of the third instalment of Troy Kingi’s ambitious plan to release 10 albums in 10 years, Troy Kingi, alongside his band The Upperclass, deservedly received Te Māngai Pāho Best Māori Artist | Te Kaipuoro Māori Toa and Best Roots Artist | Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa for the album Holy Colony Burning Acres.
Legacy award | Tohu Whakareretanga and NZ Music Hall of Fame | The Whare Taonga Puoro o Aotearoa inductees Th’ Dudes reformed to play their own tribute performance, a medley of their classic Kiwi songs – including Bliss, Be Mine Tonight and Walking in Light.
They were joined by special guests Rikki Morris, the brother of the late Ian Morris, as well as Ian’s daughters Julia and Maude of LEXXA, capping off an amazing night of celebrating Aotearoa’s booming music scene.
After their four-year hiatus, Auckland rockers Villainy released their highly anticipated third album Raised in the Dark, winning them Best Rock Artist | Te Kaipuoro Rakapioi Toa, while Bailey Wiley, who is soon to embark on a nationwide tour, won KFC Best Soul/RnB Artist | Te Kaipuoro Awe Toa following the release of her self-titled EP.
Also taking home awards tonight was internationally renowned TALI who received rova Best Electronic Artist | Te Kaipuoro Tāhiko Toa for her latest album Love & Migration, Harbourside Worship who received Best Worship Artist | Te Kaipuoro Kairangi Toa for their new EP Collide and Simon O’Neill & Terence Dennis who won Best Classical Artist | Te Kaipuoro Inamata Toa for his album Distant Beloved.
Big winners at last year awards, Drax Project received the Recorded Music NZ International Achievement | Tohu Tutuki o te Ao for the success of their single ‘Woke Up Late’, which went double platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association and has more than 70 million streams on Spotify to date.
Recorded Music NZ CEO Damian Vaughan said this year’s awards celebrated both newcomers and past favourites showing that the New Zealand music scene is continuing to grow.
“The calibre of talent just keeps getting better each year with more and more of our talented Kiwi musicians making an impact both in Aotearoa and abroad. We’re consistently impressed by the creativity, skill and expertise of our musicians and New Zealand should be incredibly proud. The Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards give us a chance to acknowledge this as well as encourage aspiring and emerging artists to continue forging their music journey.”
The 2019 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards were hosted by Laura Daniel and Jon Toogood, with performances from Avantdale Bowling Club, The Beths, BENEE, Mitch James, Troy Kingi and Villainy, as well as a moving performance from Teeks & Hollie Smith and rocking finale from Th’ Dudes.