THE VODAFONE NEW ZEALAND MUSIC AWARDS 2017: But before we open the envelopes . . .

 |   |  7 min read

THE VODAFONE NEW ZEALAND MUSIC AWARDS 2017: But before we open the envelopes . . .

There were a few interesting things to observe about the recent APRA Silver Scrolls held in Dunedin.

First they were in Dunedin and it seems a good thing to spread the ceremony around . . . although the sound on the broadcast suggested some people down south need to up their game for the demands and expectations of a 21st century audience.

It allowed big city folk to say, “That wouldn't have happened here”.

(It could have of course, but there are few things in life better than feeling superior, right?)

Of more interest was the comment and chatter about all five finalists being women. And that the eventual winner – Lorde with Green Light, which is bloody great song – seemed to be marginalised in commentary which threw attention on the induction of the Clean in the Hall of Fame.

A deserved award but the sub-text as far as I could see was Them were more important than Her. Hmmm. The cheerleaders from the sidelines got to stand centre-field? 

Screen_Shot_2017_10_06_at_4.43.54_PMBut are people over Lorde's success already?

Has the backlash of media and indifference begun.

I try not to subscribe to the “tall poppy syndrome” cliché in this country which so many use to defend someone/themselves doing indifferent and/or unintersting work – but which doesn't meet with the acclaim they or their fans think they deserve.

But Lorde's win seemed to deserve more attention than it got.

(Hmm, yeah, her again, right?)

I wouldn't like to think we have gone down that road of the British music press from the Eighties onwards which was built-them-up then knock 'em-down.

Anyway . . .

In other matters it was also interesting that for the second year in a row -- as with that Lorde girl -- the SOUNZ Contenporary award (for classical music) was won by a young woman, Salina Fisher for her piece Torino inspired by the work of taonga puoro artist Rob Thorne.

four_col_SalinaFisher_TorinoContemporary classical music gets scant attention because it is such a rarified world, but someone who wins twice in a row – and is currently in New York, studying at the Manhattan School of Music -- deserved as much media attention as say, Nadia Reid or Aldous Harding who got coverage . . . but didn't win.

These classical people are achieving in their own world too, and that should be celebrated . . .

Even if it isn't in “your” world.

Which brings us to this year's Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards and the finalists.

And just getting this in first . . .

I see that all three finalists in the classical category are on the exemplary Rattle label, now almost 30 years along the track of recording New Zealand classical, jazz and elsewhere music . . . and constantly picking up awards.

I can't think of another independent label which has had such (in)conspicuous successes, barely makes a buck and somehow – yes, with some Creative NZ assistance – manages to keep going.

Rattle seems to deserve an award for still just being here.

Oh and lest this seems precious: Alien Weaponry !!!  fuggin-ehhhh, bro. love'em 

But to the list of finalists . . .

Here follows the very diverse range of New Zealand musicians up for awards in the broad categories and you'd have to say New Zealand music is in extremely good health when you look at the breadth and depth here.

Some of the awards have already been conducted so the winners appear at the end.

And I still do not know why the jazz and folk people etc wilfully marginalise themselves by holding their awards amongst themselves: don't they want greater attention?

Maybe they prefer their self-imposed marginal status?

If so, in my opinion, more fool them.

I hope those artists and their audeince enjoy their self-imosed marginal status. Martyrdom at least allows you to be the holier-then-thou voice in the empty wilderness.

And more fool me, I thought you might have wanted your music to actually be heard? 

the hightlighted text indicates a link to something Elsewhere has said about the artist or the song or the album, first reference only though 


Godfrey Hirst Album of the Year
Aldous Harding – ‘Party’
David Dallas – ‘Hood Country Club’ *
Fazerdaze – ‘Morningside’ 
Lorde – ‘Melodrama’
SWIDT – ‘Stoneyhunga‘

Vodafone Single of the Year
David Dallas – “Fit In”
Ladi6 – “Royal Blue”
Lorde – “Green Light”
MAALA – “In My Head”
SWIDT – “Player Of The Day”
Theia – “Roam”

Best Group

THREE Best Solo Artist
Aldous Harding
Nadia Reid

Breakthrough Artist of the Year
Aldous Harding
Nadia Reid

Best Rock Artist
Clap Clap Riot
Graham Brazier

The Edge Best Pop Artist


Mitch James  

Best Alternative Artist
Aldous Harding
Nadia Reid

Best Soul/RnB Artist
Tommy Nee

Best Hip Hop Artist
David Dallas

Best Roots Artist
Israel Starr
Sons of Zion
Tomorrow People

Best Electronic Artist
Chaos In The CBD    

Te Māngai Pāho Best Māori Artist
Alien Weaponry          
Maisey Rika

Best Worship Artist
Curate Music
Josh & Amberley Klinkenberg

Best Classical Artist
Jenny McLeod           
Te Kōkī Trio

Vodafone People’s Choice Award

Artisan Awards

NZ On Air Best Music Video
Dan Watkins (Reel Factory) – Her (Shapeshifter)
Joel Kefali – Got It Bad (LEISURE)
Sam Kristofski – Lucky Girl (Fazerdaze)

Best Album Cover
Dean Poole & Tyrone Ohia (Alt Group) – ‘Stars’ (Shapeshifter)
Henrietta Harris – ‘Otherness’ (Grayson Gilmour)
Jamie Robertson – ‘String Theory’ (Fly My Pretties)

Massey University Best Producer
Ben Edwards – ‘Preservation’ (Nadia Reid)
SmokeyGotBeatz – ‘Stoneyhunga’ (SWIDT)

Best Engineer
Ben Edwards – ‘Preservation’ (Nadia Reid)
Chris Chetland – ‘A Place to Stand’ (REI)
Clint Murphy – ‘Be Like The River’ (Devilskin)

the following to be announced on the night 

NZ Herald Legacy Award

Vodafone Highest Selling Single

Highest Selling Album

NZ On Air Radio Airplay Record of the Year

International Achievement

Additional Tuis presented in 2017

Best Pacific Album
Winner: Aaradhna – ‘Brown Girl’
Unity Pacific – ‘Blackbirder Dread’

Best Country Album
Winner: Jody Direen – ‘Shake Up’

Hamilton County Bluegrass Band – ‘These Old Hands’
Phil Doublet – ‘Endless Highway’

Best Folk Album
Winner: Guy Wishart – ‘West By North’
Luke Thompson – ‘Hosts
Graeme James – ‘News From Nowhere’

Best Jazz Album
Winner: Jonathan Crayford – ‘East West Moon’
Mike Nock Trio & NZ Trio – ‘Vicissitudes’
Myele Manzanza – ‘OnePointOne’

Best Children’s Album
Winner: Anika Moa – ‘Songs For Bubbas 2’
Claudia Gunn – ‘Little Wild Lullabies’

Itty Bitty Beats – ‘On The Move’ 

The Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards will be broadcast live from Auckland's Spark Arena on Three on November 16th from 8.30pm. Tickets go on sale 6 October, $25 general admission + booking fee, available from Ticketmaster.

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