Named after the late Dylan Taite, one of the country’s most highly respected music journalists, this will be the seventh year for the award. The Taite Music Prize’s 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. The cash prize is kindly supplied by the Founding Partner Recorded Music NZ. The winner will also receive free recording time at Red Bull Studio Auckland and a year’s supply of Red Bull product.
This year’s eight finalists, from a lengthy list of 52 nominations submitted by record labels both independent and major from across the country, are:
SJD / Saint John Divine (Round Trip Mars)
Nadia Reid / Listen to Formation, Look for the Signs (Spunk Records)
Unknown Mortal Orchestra / Multi-Love (Jagjaguwar / Rhythmethod)
Princess Chelsea / The Great Cybernetic Depression (Lil’ Chief Records)
The Phoenix Foundation / Give Up Your Dreams (The Phoenix Foundation)
Anthonie Tonnon / Successor (Canapé King Records / Southbound)
Marlon Williams / Marlon Williams (Universal Music)
Silicon / Personal Computer (Weird World Recording Co / Universal Music NZ)
The eight albums in contention for the 2016 prize include fresh faces and familiar New Zealand musicians alike. Previous Taite Music Prize winners Unknown Mortal Orchestra and SJD return with unique albums ‘Multi-Love’ & ‘Saint John Divine’, as does previous Taite Music Prize finalist The Phoenix Foundation with ‘Give Up Your Dreams’. Marlon Williams is a new finalist for his self-titled album and Nadia Reid is debuting with ‘Listen to Formation, Look for the Signs’. Also showing as a first-time finalist are Princess Chelsea with ‘The Great Cybernetic Depression’ and Anthonie Tonnon with his second album ‘Succesor’. Rounding out this talented group of 2016 finalists is Silicon for the ‘Personal Computer’ album.
Matthew Davis, chairperson of Independent Music New Zealand says, “We are very proud to be able to celebrate the extraordinary musical and artistic expression to be found in New Zealand, through the recognition of these great albums. This year’s finalists (and the impressive list of nominees) for the Taite Music Prize show that creativity, diversity and imagination within the New Zealand recording sector is thriving, and we look forward to the award ceremony which is sure to be a great night.”
Damian Vaughan, CEO of Recorded Music NZ – Founding Partner of the Taite Music Prize said, “There were some really fantastic New Zealand albums released in 2015, and this year’s Taite Music Prize finalists are a true reflection of the best local recordings.”
The overall award winner will be announced on Wednesday the 20th of April at an invitation-only event in Auckland’s central city. The ceremony will also include the presentation of this year’s Independent Music NZ Classic Record award, acknowledging a defining NZ record from our yesteryear. Last year’s recipient was Herbs’ ‘What’s Be Happen?’ (Warrior Records, July 1981).
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