Vox Pops: Longest Night Awards

Vox Pops: Longest Night Awards

andy vs spawtsShort days lately huh? It’s already that time again when entries for this year’s NZ Music Awards are being called for. Pondering the many ‘lost’ categories, NZM decided to ask who might be nominated for whatever fictional (or existing) music industry-related award category and why? We received tons of awesome responses, thanks team, our winter-chilled hearts warmed by each and every one. Sorry if we didn’t manage to include yours – next Update! 

Troy Kingi, Musician, Northland

Would the wives and husbands of Artists count? Especially ones with kids – it’s a big ask to let your man/woman take off on the regular while you hold the fort at home, and in many cases – with a full-time job. Big Respect to the wives and husbands of artists.


Sarah Owen – Kaiwahakahaere o Ngā Tohu Puoro o Aotearoa (NZ Music Awards Manager), Auckland

Growing up in West Auckland, and part of a large and extended network of whanau and friends some of my fondest memories can be found in a garage party.  Whether it was falling asleep as a kid, lurking and hoping not to get noticed as a young teen, or singing with friends as an adult – this is where my musical knowledge and love was born.

Some of the best voices in Aotearoa can be found sitting in the cold after a BBQ while someone plays a guitar, large groups doing the dishes, or holed up in their bathroom to find the best acoustics. Some with no desire to have a career, but holy shit they bring some joy.

So, for me, the inaugural winner for the fictional ‘Aotearoa’s Most Talented’ award goes to these beautiful wahine singing Prince Tui Teka’s Mum  – because they remind me of my Nan and her sisters. 🙂



Louis Baker, Musician, Wellington

I think session musicians don’t always get the recognition they deserve. There are players worldwide that give something unique and distinct to the music to help make it soar, contributing beautifully in the background. One NZ musician I would like to recognise is Marika Hodgson. She plays bass on countless records and at numerous shows, and has this innate, uncanny way of making the music feel so good. She has deep groove, and always serves the music, and that’s what I think a great session player does. It’s effortless for her.


Julie Lamb, Musician, Wellington

The Hard Working Hustler Awards

In my world of #manymusos there are five people who expend more energy than fireworks at Matariki. All of them work their buns off on grassroots stuff, gig enough for a mallowpuff, promote others magically and incessantly and earn enough from doing what they do to run households and lives. Not only that but they are Fabulous musicians. They are my sung and unsung heroes.

The nominees are…

*drum roll* *envelope shuffle* *tearing noises* *a louder DRUM ROLL* *GASP!*

  • Rodger Fox – Jazzman Extraordinaire – responsible for more happy music school faces than there are stars in the sky.
  • Andrew London – Tour King and Proliferate Writer of Songs – touching, Kiwi and funny.
  • Rob Joass – also Tour King and Proliferate Writer of Songs – deep, meaningful and rockin’
  • Nicole Chesterman Kircher – The Best Gig Hustler and Extraordinary Singer.
  • Damian Forlong – Next Best Gig Hustler, Amazing Performer and all round Supportive Dude.

Y’all have to pick your own winner – I can’t decide!


Andre Goldsmith, Hang-up Entertainment, Christchurch

The small people are the ones that get missed, never thanked. The guys and girls that turn up, load and unload in whatever weather. Why can’t we have roadie award nominations via production or stage managers?


Charlotte Crone, Orange Studio, Christchurch


Award for: Proprietor of the Widest Bass in NZ

Nominee: Mike Fudakowski, Rhomboid

At 10-strings wide, I don’t think anyone could argue that this is not the widest bass in NZ (as of June 2019). Custom-made in Christchurch by luthier Peter Stephen and lovingly tended and tenderly tapped by local bass legend Mike Fudakowski, known by his friends as Fud, this mighty axe creates rippling waves of exclamation from wonder and delight to perplexed confusion at any gig outing.

We don’t know if it’s even necessary, but the effort involved in both coming up with the dream, finding timber wide enough, building it into reality and then producing the beautiful, mellow-toned bass chords needs to be recognised in this award for Proprietor of the Widest Bass in Aotearoa.

Bass or coffee table? It doesn’t matter. Respect the girth.


Martin Sagadin, Music Video Director, Christchurch

Pickle Darling – Most Wholesome Artist in NZ!


Skyscraper Stan Woodhouse, Musician, Melbourne

Adam McGrath for excellence in banter. A typical Adam McGrath set comprises 30% songs and 70% shit talking (of the highest quality). A steadfast dedication to this ratio and the charisma to pull it off make Adam one of New Zealand’s leaders in banter.


Dione Piquette, Summer Party, Christchurch

EnFire – Most Bourbon & Cola Consumed NZ Champs ’19


Gavin Downie, Music In Parks, Auckland

There’s a lot of hard-working crew that work behind the scenes that are worthy of awards. So maybe a Production Award? Great production managers piecing together tours and the technical aspects of what’s required to get an artist or band or bands around NZ with all their gear and performing every night facing adverse conditions, backline challenges, closed roads, closed ferry crossings, delayed flights. Peter Grumley is a legendary production manager and 95% of people in bands or the public won’t know what he looks like, but he’s behind most of the huge arena tours, stadium gigs like Fleetwood Mac, and runs a great backline company. If someone should be in the NZ Music lifetime achievement it’s that guy. He’s someone I look to as world-class master of his craft.


Lee Nicolson, Lightning Wave, Dunedin

Iain Sweetman – Outstanding Contribution to Otago Live Music


Megs Moss, Photographer, Auckland

Three award areas I’d love to see covered… Music Photographers/writers etc… Independent Media outlets that support musicians and get no income or payment for services, and Venues that provide spaces for independent bands to host financially viable gigs


Boaz Anema, Musician, Dunedin

Dean Armitage –  Best Bass Face In A Live Performance


Cam Crawford, Blue River Baby Band, Wellington

I think there should be an award for best Live Music Venue – small / medium and large.
An award that celebrates the venues and their commitment to us as musicians and the industry.
Sub categories could be:

  • Best at having their shit together 
  • Best local crowd  
  • Best live room
  • Best greenroom beer fridge

Izak Chads, Musician, Auckland

I would say Jay Bulletproof – for always supporting New Zealand music and artists. GC!


Shelley Te Haara, Photographer, Auckland

Marienne Te Haara – Always chasing her dreams and helping out others in the industry. Boss lady and good supporter.


Dunken Francis, Boom Boom Deluxe, Auckland

There are a whole bunch of Blues and Jazz and Bluegrass / Rock’n’roll guys in NZ, some incredible musicians, some of whom have been around for decades. Not to mention the Latin/salsa guys… We could do with a Latin music award, a Bluegrass or Roots music (NOT Reggae as that’s already covered) award too. Marty Forer down south would def be a contender, great bass player and still working now.


Melanie Stevenson, Writer, Tauranga

I’d nominate Richard Thorne for Outstanding Lifetime Commitment to NZ Music.


Doug McHardlane, Bloodnut, Auckland

Paul Harvey for Most Devoted Underground Gig Attendance.


Rachel Moidart, Musician, Auckland

Jess Haugh for service to women in sound.


Sycelia Tukuitoga, Music Manager, Paeroa

Mal Lakatani for his work with Little Souls Music Academy.


Sam Holdom, Skinny Hobos, Auckland

I’d nominate Danny Champion for Most Badass Sound Tech and Greatest Roadie Of All Time.


(Nominations for the (real!) 2019 NZ Music Awards are now open.
Visit for all details and how to enter.)