The Auckland Live Best Independent Debut 2018 is awarded to Northland’s metal band, Alien Weaponry for their debut album, Tū.
The iconic Moana Maniapoto was presented with the Independent Music New Zealand Classic Record Award for her landmark 1993 album as Moana and the Moahunters; Tahi. Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern presented the inaugural Independent Spirit Award to local legend, ex-record label owner, distributor, long time champion and advocate for young independent musicians, Bernie Griffin.
The Taite Music Prize highlights outstanding New Zealand albums released in the past calendar year. The award is open to all genres of music from any record label and judged on artistic merit, regardless of genre or sales. Named after the late Dylan Taite, one of the country’s most highly respected music journalists, The Taite Music Prize recognises outstanding creativity in an entire collection of music contained on one recording.
This evening at Q Theatre in central Auckland, the tenth annual Taite Music Prize was presented to Tom Scott of Avantdale Bowling Club. Avantdale Bowling Club is the latest project by Tom Scott (Homebrew, @peace, Average Rap Band). Tom receives a cash prize of $10,000 from Taite Music Prize founding partner, Recorded Music NZ. Additionally, through the support of Red Bull Studios Auckland, the winner receives recording time at the Red Bull Studios and a years supply of Red Bull products. Dylan Taite’s son, John Taite and granddaughter Amelia Taite, presented the award.
IMNZ Chairperson, Mikee Tucker, paid homage to the undeniable calibre of all of the other finalists and their 2018 releases; Alien Weaponry - Tū (Napalm Records), Jonathan Bree - Sleepwalking (Lil' Chief Records), Julia Deans - We Light Fire (Tigerhorse), Marlon Williams - Make Way For Love (Marlon Williams Music Limited), Mel Parsons - Glass Heart (Cape Road), Tami Neilson - SASSAFRASS! (Neilson Records), The Beths - Future Me Hates Me (Dew Process / Carpark), Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Sex & Food (Jagjaguwar), Wax Chattels - Wax Chattels (Flying Nun Records).
“Yet again, the outstanding calibre of nominees across a wide range of genres reflects the excellent health of New Zealand’s music industry. In honour of the 10th celebration of the Taite Music Prize, I’m proud of what IMNZ has achieved for the indie music sector and would like to thank all the board members past and present for their contributions,” said IMNZ Chairperson Mikee Tucker.
The Auckland Live Best Independent Debut award went to Northland's powerhouse metal trio, Alien Weaponry for their debut album, Tū. Their ground-breaking debut album delivered te reo Māori to metal fans worldwide. They receive a $2000 cash prize thanks to Auckland Live.
Auckland Live’s Manager of Programme Development, Georgina Cervin, comments, “Auckland Live is really proud of our partnership with the Taite Music Prize. Our venues are known for staging gigs big and small, and we value enormously the great independent NZ artists who perform in them”.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern presented the inaugural Independent Spirit Award to music industry legend Bernie Griffen. The Award recognises people in the industry who work to help other artists or music people to grow and find their unique pathways, are passionate about NZ music, ahead of the game in creativity, diversity and imagination and puts the artistry first. Bernie Griffen has been a recording artist and performer for the past 40 years. He was a founding member of IMNZ and served as the first chairman. IMNZ was formed to advocate for independent labels & artists, and to ensure fair market equity for all copyright holders. Bernie owned and operated local distributor Global Routes, and was a major supporter of many up-and-coming bands. He has been the host of Border Radio on 95bFM for over 20 years and has acted as a mentor and sounding board for many independent artists.
The ceremony also included the award presentation of the Independent Music NZ Classic Record. This award acknowledges one New Zealand record released over 20 years ago on an independent label. These records, whether a 12”, compilation, EP or full-length album, have become quintessential gold nuggets of New Zealand’s musical history and help define who we are as a nation.
This year’s panel gave the mighty thumbs up to Moana & the Moahunter’s 'Tahi' as one of Aotearoa’s outstanding records. Graham Reid, music industry stalwart, journalist and university lecturer, presented the award. A rousing performance of ‘Tahi’ and ‘AEIOU’ by Moana and her band followed the presentation.
MC’s for the evening’s proceedings were 95bFM’s Sarah Thomson and IMNZ Chairperson and founder of Loop Recordings, Mikee Tucker.
The Taite Music Prize panel tasked with determining the finalists was made up of an extensive selection of music media/industry specialists. The finalist judges made their decision based entirely on the artistic merit on the album. Sales, genres, artist recognition or popularity are not contributing factors in their decision-making process.
2019 Taite Music Prize Judges:
Chris Cudby - Journalist - Under The Radar
Kirsten Johnstone - Producer - RNZ
Russell Baillie - NZ Listener Arts Editor
Nick Bollinger - Author, Journalist
Hannah Brewer - NZ On Air
Savina Fountain - Auckland Live
Leonie Hayden - Journalist - The Spinoff
Paul Huggins - Rough Peel - Music Retailer
Andrew Maitai - Powertool Records
Graham Reid - University lecturer & Music Journalist, Elsewhere.co.nz
Sarah Thomson - 95bFM Programme Director
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
Supporting Partners: NZ Music Commission / APRA AMCOS / Media Arts Lawyers / Merlin /
Red Bull Studios Auckland / Commotion Ltd. / McCarthy Design / Panhead Breweries / College Hill / Nocturnal / Oceania / Tone Deaf / Lotech / Loop
Media Partners: RNZ Music Digital / 95bFM
Charity Partners: Music Helps
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)
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 Tu (Jayrem Records)
2017 – The Clean – Boodle Boodle Boodle (Flying Nun)
2018 – Headless Chickens – Stunt Clown (Flying Nun)
Previous Winners of the Auckland Live Best Independent Debut:
2017 – Merk – Swordfish (self-released)
2018 – The Miltones – The Miltones (self-released)