Finalists announced for the Vodafone NZ Music Awards 2018

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Four groups share the prestige of having the most Tui nods at the 2018 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.

Beloved Kiwi group Six60 will be looking to add to their trophy cabinet which already hosts nine Tui. After releasing their third self-titled album earlier this year, and recently announced as the first kiwi act to sell out Western Springs stadium in Auckland they’re up for four awards in 2018; Album of the Year, Best Group, The Edge Best Pop Artist and Vodafone Single of the Year for ‘Don’t Give It Up’.

Northland-based metal group Alien Weaponry are up for four Tuis for Album of the Year, Best Group, Te Māngai Pāho Best Māori Artist and Best Rock Artist. Their hard-hitting combination of classic thrash and te reo Māori offers a uniquely New Zealand metal experience.

After opening for Ed Sheeran earlier this year, Drax Project have continued to make waves in the New Zealand music scene. The pop group are up for Vodafone Single of the Year for the smash hit ‘Woke Up Late’, along with Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Best Group and The Edge Best Pop Artist.

Psychedelic rock group Unknown Mortal Orchestra are returning to the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards as finalists in the Album of the Year category for their 2018 album Sex & Food, which was recorded across the globe. In addition, the band is up for Vodafone Single of the Year for the hazy tune ‘Hunnybee’, Best Group, and Best Alternative Artist.

Three-time Tui winner Marlon Williams is a finalist again this year, in the running for Album of the Year for his 2018 release Make Way For Love, as well as Three Best Solo Artist and Best Alternative Artist. He will join two Kiwi songstresses who both have previously won Tui awards themselves, Julia Deans and Tami Neilson who are both finalists for Three Best Solo Artist and Album of the Year - for We Light Fire and Sassafrass! respectively.

Newcomer Robinson is up for Breakthrough Artist of the Year and Vodafone Single of the Year for the pop anthem ‘Nothing To Regret’, and Sons of Zion are up for Best Roots Artist and Vodafone Single of the Year for ‘Drift Away’.

Aotearoa’s latest hip hop heavyweight JessB has also received the finalist nod for Best Hip Hop Artist alongside Kings and Onehunga’s own SWIDT, who won two Tuis last year including Best Hip Hop Artist. JessB is also in the running for Breakthrough Artist of the Year.

Also being celebrated is the latest wave of New Zealand’s electronic artists, who push the boundaries of dance music in Aotearoa. The finalists for Best Electronic Artist this year are Arma Del Amor, Boycrush and Chores.

Other finalists include Kimbra (Three Best Solo Artist, The Edge Best Pop Artist), Troy Kingi (Te Māngai Pāho Best Māori Artist, Best Soul / R&B Artist), Katchafire (Te Māngai Pāho Best Māori Artist, Best Roots Artist), Mitch James (Vodafone Single of the Year), L.A.B. (Breakthrough Artist of the Year), Cairo Knife Fight (Best Rock Artist), Skinny Hobos (Best Rock Artist), Wax Chattels (Best Alternative Artist), Tomorrow People (Best Roots Artist), Israel Starr (Best Soul / R&B Artist), and Vince Harder (Best Soul / R&B Artist).

EFKS Te Atatu Junior Youth, Equippers Revolution, and Kane Adams are finalists for Best Worship Artist, while Eve de Castro Robinson, Henry Wong Doe, and Michael Houstoun have all been recognised as finalists for Best Classical Artist.

For the first time, all finalists are eligible for the Vodafone People’s Choice Award, which is announced at the 2018 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards on 15 November. Voting for the Vodafone People’s Choice Award will be opening soon to the public.

Recorded Music New Zealand CEO Damian Vaughan says the success of Kiwi musicians across different genres is a reminder of New Zealand’s diverse, vibrant music scene.

“From rock and metal through to reggae, electronica, hip hop and funk, there’s so much diversity in the music being created by Aotearoa’s talented musicians at the moment,” says Vaughan.

“We’re proud of all recording artists in New Zealand who are taking charge of their own creativity and pushing the boundaries of what is Kiwi music is capable of.”

The recipients of the Vodafone Highest Selling Single, Highest Selling Album, NZ On Air Radio Airplay Record of the Year, Recorded Music NZ Legacy Award, and the International Achievement Award will also be announced at the 2018 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.

VNZMA 2018 Finalists (by category)

Album of the Year
Alien Weaponry – Tū
Julia Deans – We Light Fire
Marlon Williams – Make Way For Love
Six60 – Six60
Tami Neilson – Sassafrass!
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Sex & Food

Vodafone Single of the Year
Drax Project – ‘Woke Up Late’
Mitch James – ‘21’
Robinson – ‘Nothing To Regret’
Six60 – ‘Don't Give It Up’
Sons Of Zion – ‘Drift Away’
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – ‘Hunnybee’

Best Group
Alien Weaponry – Tū
Drax Project - Noon
Six60 - Six60
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Sex & Food

THREE Best Solo Artist
Julia Deans – We Light Fire
Kimbra – Primal Heart
Marlon Williams – Make Way For Love
Tami Neilson – Sassafrass!

Breakthrough Artist of the Year
Drax Project
JessB
L.A.B.
Robinson

Te Māngai Pāho Best Māori Artist
Alien Weaponry
Katchafire
Troy Kingi

The Edge Best Pop Artist
Drax Project
Kimbra
Six60

Best Alternative Artist
Marlon Williams
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Wax Chattels

Best Soul/RnB Artist
Israel Starr
Troy Kingi
Vince Harder

Best Hip Hop Artist
JessB
Kings
SWIDT

Best Roots Artist
Katchafire
Sons of Zion
Tomorrow People

Best Electronic Artist
Arma Del Amor
Boycrush
Chores

Best Rock Artist
Alien Weaponry
Cairo Knife Fight
Skinny Hobos

Best Worship Artist
EFKS Te Atatu Junior Youth Choir
Equippers Revolution
Kane Adams

Best Classical Artist
Eve de Castro Robinson
Henry Wong Doe
Michael Houstoun

Vodafone People’s Choice Award

Recorded Music NZ Legacy Award

Vodafone Highest Selling Single

Highest Selling Album

NZ On Air Radio Airplay Record of the Year

International Achievement

Additional Tuis presented in 2018

Best Pacific Album
Winner: Ladi 6 – Royal Blue 3000 EP

EFKS Te Atatu Junior Youth – Fa'afetai Le Atua

Noah Slee – Otherland

Sol3 Mio – A Very Merry Christmas

SWIDT – Stoneyhunga

Best Country Artist
Winner: Reb Fountain – Hopeful and Hopeless
Lana Doublet – Beautiful Human

Phil Doublet – Strength, Love, Music & Light

Best Folk Artist
Winner: Albi & The Wolves – One Eye Open
Reb Fountain – Little Arrows
Candice Milner – Evergreen

Best Jazz Artist
Winner: Umar Zakaria – Fearless Music
Hayden Chisholm, Norman Meehan and Paul Dyne – Unwind
Lucien Johnson – West of the Sun

Best Children’s Artist
Winner: Levity Beet – My Best Friend Jake Is A Cyborg
Chanelle & Friends – The Little Green Turtle And Other Songs For Kids
Moe & Friends – The Moe Album

Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards

Thursday 15th November: Spark Arena, Auckland

Tickets available from Ticketmaster.

The Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards will be broadcast live on Three on 15th November from 8.30pm