Released in July 2021, the album was produced and recorded by Tonnon with The Beths’ Jonathan Pearce, who also joined him on stage at Auckland’s Q Theatre. Along with the substantial trophy Tonnon receives a $12,500 prize.
Judging of the Taite Music prize is based entirely on the artistic merit of the finalist albums. Though still hampered by the Covid effect in terms of scale, the celebratory evening was kicked off with a sensational performance from the 2021 Taite Music Prize winner Reb Fountain, who was again one of the 10 finalists in 2022 with her latest album, ‘Iris’.
The Best Independent Debut award went to Jazmine Mary for her album, ‘The Licking of a Tangerine’, released in February 2021. Described as ‘dream-folk’, the album was produced by the artist, Jazmine Rose Phillips.
The annual Independent Spirit Award went to Karyn Hay ONZM, in recognition of her contribution to music awareness in Aotearoa since the 1980s, starting with through the groundbreaking TV series Radio With Pictures and throughout her career including Kiwi FM, music documentaries, and as a leading voice in the vital 1990s campaign for increased local music inclusion on NZ commercial radio.
The inaugural NZ On Air Outstanding Music Journalism award went to radio journalist Tony Stamp for his wide-ranging work with RNZ Music that includes music interviews, documentaries and reviews. Stamp received a $2500 cash prize. Alongside this award, a judge’s special commendation was acknowledged for Alison Mau’s work via Stuff in covering NZ music industry practices and sexual harm prevention.
Announced previously, the Independent Music NZ Classic Record award went to the extraordinary 1994 compilation ‘PROUD – An Urban-Pacific Streetsoul Compilation’.
The award itself was presented to legendary Auckland producer Alan Jansson who worked with the late Phil Fuemana and Blam Blam Blam bassist Tim Mahon to bring in a range of artists representing the contemporary Māori and Pacifica music of the time. The ‘PROUD’ compilation included a number of acts who subsequently gained their own fame; Sisters Underground, Pacifican Descendants, Semi MCs, MC Slam, Radio Backstab, DJ Payback, and Otara Millionaires Club. While the evidently humbled Jansson admitted the album struggled for recognition and sales in NZ, it has long since been recognised as hugely important and influential.
Dylan Pellett, GM of IMNZ says, “This has been a special celebration this evening in so many ways, and I wish all of the winners my hearty congratulations. What a privilege to present this event on behalf of our membership and the wider music community. Top work everyone!”