Tom Scott’s Avantdale Bowling Club; Northland thrash metallers Alien Weaponry; trailblazing 90s group Moana and the Moahunters; and local singer/song writing legend Bernie Griffen were all honoured at tonight’s Taite Music Prize.
Avantdale Bowling Club has won the tenth annual Taite Music Prize, which recognises outstanding creativity in an album. The collaborative jazz/hip-hop fusion album by Auckland rapper Tom Scott (Home Brew, @Peace, Average Rap Band) won out against albums by Marlon Williams, The Beths and more.
Scott receives a cash prize of $10,000 and free recording time at Auckland’s Red Bull Studios.
Teenaged thrash-metallers Alien Weaponry were also winners tonight, taking home Best Independent Debut for their album Tū, after delivering a spine-tingling performance of their song ‘Rū Ana Te Whenua’.
Moana and the Moahunters were honoured with the Classic Record Award for their 1993 album Tahi. The award acknowledges a local release from the last 20 years, which has become a Kiwi classic, and helped define who we are as a nation.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern presented the inaugural Independent Spirit Award to local legend Bernie Griffin.
The Independent Spirit Award recognises an individual who’s helped musicians grow and find their own unique pathways within the New Zealand music industry.
Bernie Griffin has been a recording artist and performer for the past 40 years. He was a founding member of Independent Music New Zealand (IMNZ) – the group behind the Taite, and served as its first chairman.
Bernie owned and operated local distributor Global Routes, and was a major supporter of many up-and-coming bands. He’s been the host of 95bFM’s Border Radio show for over 20 years, and has acted as a mentor and sounding board for many independent artists.
- Bernie Griffen spoke to Kim Hil about the near death experience that led to his album Doors Wide Open
All four awards were presented tonight at a ceremony in Auckland’s Q Theatre.
The Taite Music Prize highlights outstanding New Zealand albums released in the previous 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.
The award is named for the late Dylan Taite, one of New Zealand’s most highly respected music journalists.
Watch the performances from the ceremony:
IMNZ chair Mikee Tucker says the outstanding calibre of this year’s nominees reflects the excellent health of New Zealand’s music industry.
“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,” says Tucker.
IMNZ was formed to advocate for independent labels & artists, and to ensure fair market equity for all copyright holders – not just those signed to major labels.
2019 Taite Music Prize Judges:
- Chris Cudby - journalist, Under The Radar
- Kirsten Johnstone - producer, RNZ
- Russell Baillie - NZ Listener Arts Editor
- Nick Bollinger - author and 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
Previous winners of The Taite Music 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 Tū (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)