The Taite Music Prize: announcing this year’s winner & the inaugural Independent Music NZ Classic Record recipient
The winner of the fourth annual Taite Music Prize 2013 is SJD for his album ‘Elastic Wasteland’ released on Round Trip Mars.
Freerange critic and member of the judging panel Gary Steel had this to say about the win:
"I gave Elastic Wasteland a 5 out of 5 star review in Metro magazine last year, noting that despite his position as
'probably the most critically acclaimed songwriter of his generation... the charts are bereft of his music, the awards
not yet accumulating on his mantelpiece, and many still seem indifferent to his luminescent art-pop.'
I'm thrilled to have been able to play a small part in honouring Sean Donnelly aka SJD with the only award that
recognises originality and innovation in music over the generic qualities associated with popularity-based prizes.
I just hope his mantelpiece is made of stern stuff, because it's a heavy award in more ways than one."
Named after the late Dylan Taite, one of the country's most highly respected music journalists, this was the fourth year
for the prestigious award. The Taite Music Prize's purpose is to recognise outstanding creativity for an entire
collection of music contained on one album. SJD wins a cash prize of $10,000, to be spent as he wishes. The Taite Music Prize is organised by Independent Music New Zealand (IMNZ), and PPNZ Music Licensing kindly supplies the cash prize. The winner will also receive free recording time at Red Bull Studios and a year’s supply of Red Bull product.
The award winner was announced at an invitation-only event attended by around 300 people at Galatos Live in Auckland’s
central city. Julia Deans and Street Chant, both finalists in previous Taite Music Prize events, performed live sets for the gathered guests. The event was
live-streamed to the public via NZ Herald Online.
The panel to determine the finalists was made up of a broad section of music media/industry specialists. The finalist
judges made their decision based entirely on the artistic merit on the album. Sales, genres, artist recognition or
popularity are not contributing factors in their decision making process.
IMNZ Chairperson Ben Howe said, “We are very proud to see the continued growth of our local music community and an event
like the Taite Music Prize continues to attract a large number of really fantastic albums for consideration – so I’d
wish to celebrate all the artists. Only one can take home this magnificent trophy however!”
Also presented at the ceremony was the Independent Music NZ Classic Record, which is a new award that aims to acknowledge New Zealand’s rich history of making fine albums that continue to
inspire us and that also define who we are.
The inaugural award was also determined by the judging panel, and they gave the nod to the GORDONS – ‘GORDONS’ album as one of NZ’s classic records. The award was presented by Shayne Carter and accepted by band member John
Talking about the first Independent Music NZ Classic Record recipient, finalist judge Grant Smithies said: “…this first
Gordons record remains unsurpassed for its nasty beauty, its ice-cold pessimism and white-hot intensity.” – Grant
Smithies, Soundtracks: 118 Great New Zealand Albums (2007)
The Taite Music Prize
Independent Music New Zealand (IMNZ)
PPNZ Music Licensing / NZ On Air (NZOA) / the Taite Family
NZ Music Commission / The Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) / Native Tongue Music Publishing /
Jagermeister / Red Bull / MOA Beer
NZ Herald Online / Kiwi FM
Previous Taite Music Prize winners are:
2010 - Lawrence Arabia ‘Chant Darling’ (Honorary Bedouin Records)
2011 - Ladi6 - The Liberation Of (Question? Music)
2012 - Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Unknown Mortal Orchestra (Seeing Records)