The Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards | Ngā Tohu Puoro o Aotearoa today announce a strong group of 2019 Tui finalists, with alternative music leading the pack.
Indie pop band The Beths released their debut album Future Me Hates Me in 2018 and leads the nominations this year with five nods. They have been nominated for Best Alternative Artist | Te Kaipuoro Manohi Toa, Album of the Year | Te Pukaemi o te Tau, Vodafone Single of the Year | Te Waiata Tōtahi o te Tau for ‘Little Death’, Best Group | Te Roopu Toa and Smirnoff Breakthrough Artist of the Year | Te Kaituhura Puoro Toa o te Tau.
Nineteen-year-old sensation BENEE has had a whirlwind year. Her debut single ‘Soaked’ has been certified platinum in New Zealand, she released her debut EP FIRE ON MARZZ and she has embarked on headline tours across New Zealand and overseas. She’s nominated for four Tui including THREE Best Solo Artist | Te Kaipuoro Takitahi Toa, Smirnoff Breakthrough Artist of the Year, The Edge Best Pop Artist | Te Kaipuoro Arotini Toa and Vodafone Single of the Year for ‘Soaked’.
After smashing the charts with her sophomore album Party in 2017 and winning two awards at the 2017 Music Awards – Breakthrough Artist of the Year and Best Alternative Artist – Aldous Harding is back after releasing her third album Designer earlier in 2019. This year, she’s a finalist for four categories including Album of the Year, Vodafone Single of the Year for ‘The Barrel’, THREE Best Solo Artist and Best Alternative Artist.
Kiwi hip hop artist Tom Scott’s jazz-inspired hip hop project Avantdale Bowling Club was three years in the making, but only took one week to reach #1 in the NZ Album Charts. Described by Tom as ‘a self-help book addressed to myself’, this self-titled debut is up for three Tui at this year’s awards including THREE Best Solo Artist, Best Hip Hop Artist | Te Kaipuoro Hipihope Toa and Album of the Year.
LA-based pop titans Broods came back in 2019 with their hotly anticipated third album Don’t Feed The Pop Monster. No strangers to the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards, the duo are finalists for Album of the Year, Best Group and The Edge Best Pop Artist.
Mitch James was up for Single of the Year at last year’s Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards for his catchy “21”, which was certified Gold. This year, he’s nominated for THREE Best Solo Artist, The Edge Best Pop Artist and Album of the Year for his self-titled debut.
The next wave of New Zealand hip hop is well represented with teenagers Church & AP. After releasing their debut EP Cathedral / All Purpose in April, the Auckland boys have become the local duo to watch. Their track ‘Ready or Not’ is nominated for Single of the Year, and the two are in the running for Smirnoff Breakthrough Artist of the Year and Best Hip Hop Artist as well.
Troy Kingi’s mission to create 10 albums in 10 years continues with the release of his 3rd instalment Holy Colony Burning Acres, a deeply personal and spiritual examination of the plight of First Nations peoples around the world. A 2018 winner of the Best Soul/RnB and Best Māori Artist Tui, Troy Kingi & The Upperclass are up for Te Māngai Pāho Best Māori Artist | Te Kaipuoro Māori Toa and Best Roots Artist | Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa for 2019.
After a three-year hiatus, doom metal band Beastwars made their triumphant return to music with the release of their fourth studio album IV in 2019. The album was critically acclaimed, supported by a nationwide tour, and debuted at #1 on the NZ Music Charts. Now the band is nominated for Best Group and Best Rock Artist | Te Kaipuoro Rakapioi Toa at this year’s music awards.
Founded by the legendary Kora brothers Brad and Stu, L.A.B. have established a name for themselves as a cornerstone of the Kiwi summer circuit. Their unique blend of soulful-rock and electronic-funk continues on their second album L.A.B II and after being released this year, the band are finalists for Best Group and Best Roots Artist.
Wellington singer-songwriter Louis Baker has been releasing music since 2013, but his 2019 debut album Open has propelled him into the mainstream eye – and for good reason. This collection of songs hones Baker’s neo-soul sound and sees him up for Te Māngai Pāho Best Māori Artist and Best Soul/RnB Artist | Te Kaipuro Awe Toa.
The other finalists include Rei (Te Māngai Pāho Best Māori Artist, Best Soul/RnB Artist), , Marlon Williams (Album of the Year), Drax Project (Vodafone Single of the Year), Six60 (Vodafone Single of the Year), BAYNK (Smirnoff Breakthrough Artist of the Year), Racing (Best Rock Artist), Villainy (Best Rock Artist), Tiny Ruins (Best Alternative), Bailey Wiley (Best Soul/RnB Artist), Diggy Dupè (Best Hip Hop Artist), and Lost Tribe Aotearoa (Best Roots Artist).
Pacific Heights (Best Electronic Artist | Te Kaipuoro Tāhiko Toa), Sweet Mix Kids (Best Electronic Artist), TALI (Best Electronic Artist), Equippers Worship (Best Worship Artist | Te Kaipuoro Kairangi Toa), Harbourside Worship (Best Worship Artist), Jules Riding (Best Worship Artist), Michael Houstoun & Bella Hristova (Best Classical Artist | Te Kaipuro Inamata Toa), Simon O'Neill (Best Classical Artist) and The Linkwood Guitar Duo (Best Classical Artist) are also finalists at this year’s Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.
All finalists are eligible for the Vodafone People’s Choice Award | Te Kōwhiri o te Nuinga, which is announced at the 2019 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards on 14 November. Voting for the Vodafone People’s Choice Award will be opening soon to the public.
Recorded Music New Zealand CEO Damian Vaughan says the 2019 group of finalists are incredibly talented and it’s thrilling to see them succeed locally and internationally.
“We have a phenomenal music scene here Aotearoa, a real community that encourages and fosters development and growth,” says Vaughan.
And now we see these artists and their music finding audiences and success overseas, across streaming services throughout the world. It makes me proud to be a part of the ever-evolving and growing Kiwi music industry.
The recipients of the Vodafone Highest Selling Artist | Te Toa Hoko Teitei, NZ On Air Radio Airplay Record of the Year | Te Rikoata Marakerake o te Tau and the International Achievement | Tohu Tutuki o te Ao Award will also be announced at the 2019 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.
We will also be celebrating the recipient of Music Teacher of the Year | Kaiārahi Puoro o te Tau at the main event, as well as Th’ Dudes induction into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame | Te Whare Taonga Puoro o Aotearoa.
The Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards | Ngā Tohu Puoro o Aotearoa will be broadcast live on THREE on 14 November from 8.30pm. General public tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster.
Key dates for 2019 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards:
• Thursday 10th October
Artisan Awards finalist announcement presented by Massey University
• Thursday 24 October
This year’s Tui artist announcement
• Tuesday 29th October – Saturday 9th November
Tui Music Series at Roundhead Studios, Auckland and SAE Creative Media Institute, Auckland
• Monday 4th November
Artisan Awards, presented by Massey University at Massey Campus Wellington
• Friday 8th November
NZ Music T-Shirt Day
• Thursday 14th November
Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards (Spark Arena)