SJD wins the 2013 Taite Music Prize

SJD was the winner of the fourth annual Taite Music Prize 2013 for his album ‘Elastic Wasteland'.  The prize was awarded in front of an invitation-only event attended by about 300 people at Galatos Live in Auckland City.  

This was the fourth year for the award which was named after the late Dylan Taite, who was one of the country's most highly respected music journalists.  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. As part of his prize SJD will also receive free recording time at Red Bull Studios and a year's supply of Red Bull product.  The Taite Music Prize is organised by Independent Music New Zealand (IMNZ), and PPNZ Music Licensing kindly supplies the cash prize.

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.

Judging panel member Gary Steel commented "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."

Also presented on the night 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 Halvorsen.

Julia Deans and Street Chant, both finalists in previous Taite Music Prize events, performed live sets for the guests in attendance.