The 2017 MMF Awards took place last night in Auckland, celebrating the achievements of music managers.
Now Berlin-based Alastair Burns was awarded the ‘Manager of the Year’ award for his work with Marlon Williams. Under Alastair’s wing, Marlon Williams has sold 30,000 albums, performed on Later with Jools Holland, and completed a global album tour, which included appearances at Austin City Limits, London, and Los Angeles. Last year Alastair won the Breakthrough Manager and International Achievement Awards.
Nicole Thomas and Paula Yeoman won the inaugural ‘Emerging Manager of the Year’ award for their work with the pop musician Theia. Nicole and Paula Yeoman have made great strides with Theia’s career in a short time. After securing her a record deal with Warner NZ and Australia, Theia released her first single ‘Roam’, which quickly became a Spotify favourite amassing 6.5 million streams. It made viral charts across the globe and became a hit in New Zealand, peaking at number one on the New Zealand Airplay charts where it remained for seven consecutive weeks.
The award for ‘Breakthrough Manager of the Year’ went to Matt Headland for his work with Kings. Kings was awarded ‘Best Breakthrough Artist’ at the New Zealand Music Awards, broke Lorde’s record for most consecutive weeks at number one in the New Zealand Music Singles Chart for single ‘Don’t Worry Bout It’, and has been streamed over 5.5 million times along with over one million YouTube streams. Matt has also helped Kings sign multiple deals with Warner Music New Zealand, Ministry of Sound Australia, Universal Music Germany, and Sony Music Canada.
The ‘International Achievement’ award was deservedly given to a moved Julie Foa’i (pictured above with Te Vaka) for her work with Te Vaka. Julie has been managing Te Vaka for twenty years, with this year being one of their biggest in the international limelight. After signing Opetaia and Te Vaka to Disney to write songs for the Moana movie, she licensed thirteen tracks to the film and the band wowed a star-studded audience with a live performance of three songs from the movie at the world premiere in Los Angeles. The album reached number two on the Billboard top 200 albums charts, number one in New Zealand and was nominated for an Oscar.
Presented by SWIDT, Tami Neilson won ‘Best Self-Managed Artist’ for the second year in a row – on her birthday. In 2016, Tami was nominated for an APRA Silver Scroll Award for her song ‘The First Man’, as well as being nominated for Album of the Year and Best Female Artist at the NZ Music Awards. In September she headed off on a North American Tour, which included an appearance at the Americanafest in Nashville. She charted on the Americana Music Charts and CBC Radio Canada, and was featured in Prime Rocks documentary “The New Sound of Country.”
‘Best Independent Award’ was won by Rodney Hewson for his work on Anika Moa’s ‘Songs For Bubba’s 2’ tour. The tour covered eighteen cities, which included two shows per day in a different town or city. In true Kiwi fashion, entry to each show was a gold coin donation and reached a collective audience of more than fifteen thousand people in two weeks.
The ‘Best Small Venue’ award going to San Fran in Wellington, and the ‘Best Large Venue’ award going to Auckland’s Powerstation.
The ‘Industry Champion’ award for 2017 was awarded to APRA AMCOS for their contribution to the New Zealand music industry. APRA AMCOS license organisations to play, perform, copy, record or make available their members music, and distribute royalties. They have 87,000 members across New Zealand and Australia who are songwriters, composers, and music publishers.
This year the ‘Achievement Award’ was presented to Andrew Papas. The Achievement Award recognises the efforts of an MMF member who utilises the resources provided by the program and shows great initiative. Andrew is a highly motivated musician, who serviced his debut single to radio and achieved airplay on ZM, Mai FM and The Edge for his single ‘Burn It Down.’ The single was in the Australian Heatseekers chart peaking at No 3, and was playlisted on the highly influential USA Spotify Heatseekers: Hiptronix.