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The Taite Music Prize: In Search of the Year's Finest New Zealand Album

Friday 10 February 2017

The Taite Music Prize: In Search of the Year's Finest New Zealand Album

Independent Music NZ (IMNZ) reveals exciting changes to this years’ Taite Music Prize 2017 – a new partner, a new venue and a brand new award!

As a result of this freshly minted collaboration, a move to the spectacularly unique Wintergarden at The Civic will ensure that the Taite Music Prize will retain its reputation as one of the most prestigious music events in the nation’s calendar. Additionally, in recognition of this association, a brand new award has been created - the Auckland Live Best Independent Debut Award.

The judges have given the nod to this year's ‘Independent Music NZ Classic Record’ award to The Clean – Boodle Boodle Boodle (Flying Nun Records, 1981). Lauded as one of Aotearoa’s classic records which acknowledge Aotearoa’s rich history of making fine records that continue to inspire us and define who we are.

"It’s a great pleasure to accept this award especially as it’s in the spirit of Dylan Taite, someone I had the pleasure of meeting a couple of times throughout his life." - David Kilgour, Founding member of The Clean

Named after the late Dylan Taite, one of the country's most highly respected music journalists, this will be the eighth year for the award. Its main purpose is to recognise outstanding creativity for an entire collection of music contained on one album. The winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000, to be spent as they wish – with thanks to Founding Partner of the Taite Music Prize Recorded Music NZ. Additionally, through the support of Red Bull Studios Auckland, the winner receives recording time at the Auckland studios, alongside a year's supply of Red Bull product.

Acknowledging originality, creativity and musicianship regardless of sales figures or genre, the Taite Music Prize was established to champion the finest release by a New Zealand artist or group - the previous winners have all been excellent albums that demonstrate these criteria well.

Taite Music Prize 2017 have been confirmed. This year’s eight finalists, from a lengthy list of 70 nominations submitted by record labels both independent and major from across the country, are:

- Aaradhna - Brown Girl (Universal Music NZ)
- Hopetoun Brown - Look So Good (Melita Music)
- Lawrence Arabia - Absolute Truth (Flying Nun Records)
- Leisure - Leisure (The Leisure Collective)
- Lontalius - I’ll Forget 17 (POD/Inertia)
- Pacific Heights - The Stillness (Warner Music)
- Shayne P Carter - Offsider (Flying Nun Records)
- Street Chant - Hauora (Arch Hill Recordings)

Alongside the main prize, there are two additional awards to be given out at the ceremony in 2017: the already established Independent Music NZ Classic Record and a newly-created award that celebrates the freshest talent of Aotearoa including a $2000 cash prize and a live performance slot at Auckland Live Summer in the Square 2017/2018 – Auckland’s biggest backyard summer party.

Auckland Live director, Robbie Macrae, says he’s delighted to welcome the Taite Music Prize into the vibrant hub of Auckland Live’s arts and entertainment precinct.

Previous Taite Music Prize winners are:
- 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)

Previous Independent Music NZ Classic Record recipients are:
- 2013 - Gordons – Gordons (Flying Nun)
- 2014 - AK79 – Various (Ripper Records)
- 2015 - Herbs – What’s Be Happen? (Warrior Records)
- 2016 – Upper Hutt Posse – ET? (Jayrem Records)