Nelson’s LA-based pop duo Broods were the big winners at the NZ Music Awards 2016 for their second album ‘Conscious’ and Free, the album’s first single. Continuing what is an exceptional run, Broods won five Tuis – one more than last year. It would have been as much disappointment for organisers as their many fans that the pair were absent on the night, instead providing five similar videoed acceptance chats.
Along with delivering perhaps the most stunning performance on the night, Aaradhna received Tuis for Best Female Solo Artist and Best Urban/Hip Hop Album for ‘Brown Girl’. For the latter award she used the opportunity to call out racism in music, arguing that as a “singer, not a rapper” she was mis-placed in the category “of brown people” which also includes hip hop. Her performance of the album’s eponymous single provided a powerful reinforcement of her sentiment.
Formal complaints about the television non-coverage of last year’s Maori Album award had led the organisers to reappraise the event’s acknowledgement of Maori music and tangata whenua this year. Rototura-based songwriter Rob Ruha won his second Tui in three years for Best Album in Te Reo Maori for his latest release ‘Pumau’. Ruha has had a great run in 2016 making it the second time in three years that he’s been awarded at all three relevant big award ceremonies – the Waiata Maori Music Awards, APRA’s Silver Scrolls and the Tuis – making Rob Ruha a rare two-time triple-threat.
Although not evident in the voting panel categories this year, Six60 were again in the money taking home two awards reflecting their sustained chart domination. Their (May 2015-released) hit single White Lines remarkably proved to be 2016’s Highest Selling/Most Streamed Single, having charted for a whopping 89 weeks at the time of the NZMA celebration. The NZ On Air Radio Airplay Record of the Year Tui as well went to the same song.
Long known for their successful international touring and festival popularity, Fat Freddy’s Drop were well-deservedly presented with the International Achievement Award.
Singer/songwriter Bic Runga received the Legacy Award for her contributions to Kiwi music and was welcomed by Dave Dobbyn into the NZ Music Hall of Fame. Runga brought the 2016 NZ Music Awards night to a close with a captivating performance of her 1997 hit Sway, joined by an all-star band made up of sister Boh Runga (Stellar), her partner Kody Nielson (Silicon, Mint Chicks), Tiny Ruins’ Hollie Fullbrook and another former ex-Mint Chicks’ member in bassist Michael Logie.