Itty Bitty Beats Win Large At The 2016 Children’s Music Awards

Itty Bitty Beats Win Large At The 2016 Children’s Music Awards

On August 9 the 2016 Children’s Music Awards were presented at the APRA offices in Mt Eden, Auckland.

Dunedin-based Rainbow Rosalind (Rosalind Manowitz) received the award for Best Children’s Music Video for Aotearoa, Home of Our Hearts.  She created both the song and the video, and was given the award by the endorsement of her audience, the children of Aotearoa, who voted for her  online.

The big winners of the night were Lucy Hiku and Jenny Payne, also known as Christchurch duo Itty Bitty Beats, who won two out of three awards presented on the night – the Best Children’s Music Song for their bilingual lullaby Po Marie, and the Recorded Music Best Children’s Album for ‘Lay Your Head Down’. They will receive a $1,000 cash prize and a $10,000 grant to go towards the production of a song and a music video, courtesy of NZ On Air.

We caught up with Itty Bitty Beats after the awards, pictured below with the night’s MC Suzy Cato.

2016 children's music awards

Itty Bitty Beats with Suzy Cato and their awards.

Observing you in the flesh you seem like two peas in a pod – how did you meet?

We met each other (and our husbands) at Jazz School in 2001, we’ve been friends ever since!

Jenny studied Jazz Music for two years and Lucy has a Diploma in Commercial Music. We both Studied at Jazz School in Christchurch [now Ara]. Jenny and her husband Rob play regularly on the Christchurch music scene as their duo Vintage Blue… and Lucy has played in various bands and even fronted a nine-piece blues band.

What are the unique challenges in being a childrens’ music songwriter and performer?

We are learning as we go… So far our main challenge would have been getting our music out there for people to hear! Juggling parenthood and our busy schedules has also been a bit of a balancing act but that’s where it’s been great being a partnership and sharing the load.

As far as behind the scene tasks are concerned, who does what between the two of you?

We both, come up with our own ideas, snippets, lyrics, concepts and bounce the off each other. Then we workshop them together into a strong song, lyrically and musically. Then we take them to our producer arranger extraordinaire Rob to work his magic!

Can you describe for me the childrens’ music scene in NZ if there’s such a thing?

The children’s music scene is really growing… We’re very excited to be part of Kiwi Kids Music – a new collective of children’s music artists, writers and producers working together to build our precence in the community.

What’s up next for you?

At the moment we are working on an album for travelling. So we are spending a lot of time recording in the studio. Also part of our award was a grant towards making a music video, so we are thrilled about planning the next step in our journey and sharing our new material!

Is there any advice you could give people who are considering writing for a specific (under-) age group?

Keep it fun! Keep it musical…. Children are really clever and they have a fantastic sense of humour. Collaborating with another writer can also be a great source of energy with songwriting.