The award highlighting outstanding NZ albums released in the previous calendar year is presented by Independent Music NZ.
Showcasing her skills as an artist, arranger and producer, the album chronicles Chelsea Nikkel‘s recovery from a nervous breakdown with a hopeful and cathartic listen. The classically trained pianist (ex Teen Wolf, The Brunettes) now has a solo music career spanning 11 years. Viral hit Cigarette Duet (90 million YouTube views) grew her reach and notoriety as a dreamy pop singer the world over.
The Best Independent Debut went to Em-Haley Walker, aka Te Kaahu, for her album ‘Te Kaahu O Rangi’ sung entirely in te reo Māori.
The Independent Spirit Award was made to Paul Huggins for his enduring contributions to the local music community, including managing and then buying Real Groovy Christchurch in 2008, and establishing both Rough Peel Music (RPM) and the label Rough Peel Records (RPR) in Wellington in 2011. Paul has actively supported and encouraged many Aotearoa musicians for over two decades including Trinity Roots, Marlon Williams, Reb Fountain and Aldous Harding. As Warren Maxwell noted Paul was unusual in willingly leaving the issues of creativity to the artists, while he focused on the results being released, particularly on vinyl. Paul has terminal cancer and for his moving acceptance speech was bravely accompanied by his partner and son.
The NZ On Air Outstanding Music Journalism award was presented to Namnita Kumar and Nadia Freeman for their work creating the Eastern Sound Stories podcast produced by Eastern Sound Collective in conjunction with Radio Active.FM. The seven-episode audio series talks about songs produced by Asian musicians working in Aotearoa today.
The Independent Music NZ Classic Record award was presented to ‘Micronism – Inside A Quiet Mind’ (Kog Transmissions, 1998). The recording artist Micronism, aka Denver McCarthy, was a mysterious electronic music act who emerged as part of the burgeoning ’90s electronic scene in Auckland that gathered around the collective label Kog Transmissions.
The 2023 Taite Music Prize was held at Q Theatre in Tāmaki Makaurau and featured performances by 2022 Taite Music Prize winner Anthonie Tonnon and 2023 IMNZ Classic Record winner Micronism.